se·​lect | \ sə-ˈlekt How to pronounce select (audio) \

Definition of select

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : chosen from a number or group by fitness or preference
2a : of special value or excellence : superior, choice
b : exclusively or fastidiously chosen often with regard to social, economic, or cultural characteristics
3 : judicious or restrictive in choice : discriminating pleased with the select appreciation of his books— Osbert Sitwell


selected; selecting; selects

Definition of select (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

: to choose (as by fitness or excellence) from a number or group : pick out

intransitive verb

: to make a choice



Definition of select (Entry 3 of 3)

: one that is select often used in plural

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Other Words from select


selectable \ sə-​ˈlek-​tə-​bəl How to pronounce selectable (audio) \ adjective
selectness \ sə-​ˈlek(t)-​nəs How to pronounce selectness (audio) \ noun
selector \ sə-​ˈlek-​tər How to pronounce selector (audio) \ noun

Examples of select in a Sentence

Adjective Only a few select employees attended the meeting. A select committee was formed to plan the project. The group was small and select. A select number of people are invited. Only a select few will be accepted into the program. He only drinks select wines. Verb Please select one item from the list. The school will only select 12 applicants for enrollment. Knowing the importance of making the right choice, he selected carefully. Select “Insert” from the “Edit” menu.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective And in select sectors such as education and retail, up to 30% of all venture capital funding is going to firms founded by women, according to PitchBook and All Raise. Michelle Cheng, Quartz at Work, "VC funding for startups with at least one female founder more than doubled in 2018," 14 Nov. 2019 The momentum continued — and accelerated — in mid-October, when Neon, which acquired Parasite at the American Film Market in 2018, began rolling the film out in select U.S. theaters. Patrick Brzeski, The Hollywood Reporter, "Making of 'Parasite': How Bong Joon Ho's Real Life Inspired a Plot-Twisty Tale of Rich vs. Poor," 8 Nov. 2019 On November 6, the Puma's Cali Sport will arrive online and in select Puma stores. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "Selena Gomez Is the Face of Puma’s Cali Sport," 31 Oct. 2019 The Cat and the Moon opens in select New York and Los Angeles theaters on Friday. Nick Romano,, "Noah Baumbach urged Hereditary star Alex Wolff to the director's chair," 22 Oct. 2019 Rudolph will retail for $34 in 375ml bottles in select Ohio state liquor agencies. Marc Bona, cleveland, "Great Lakes Brewing Co., whiskey company collaborate on 2 releases," 21 Oct. 2019 Preview screenings will be held in select locations on Oct. 24. Joey Guerra, Houston Chronicle, "Kanye West's 'Jesus is King' will premiere in IMAX theaters," 17 Oct. 2019 The key to the approach is the fact that most wildfires happen in select high-risk areas, Appel says. Emily Matchar, Smithsonian, "This Gel Could Prevent Wildfires," 24 Sep. 2019 Facebook tested out its new local alerts tool in select cities over the past year. Dalvin Brown, USA TODAY, "Facebook wants to keep you 'in-the-know' about emergencies, active shooters in your area," 27 Aug. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb With that attitude in mind, it’s fun to select the morsels, from those that will undoubtedly impress and disgust dinner companions to those that might come in handy in a trivia contest. Debra Bruno, Washington Post, "An American writer, seduced by the Seine," 6 Dec. 2019 Guests are then able to select looks tailored to each unique W Hotel location incorporating Rent the Runway’s data on trending colors, designers, silhouettes and the climate of the destination. Nandi Howard, Essence, "You Can Now Get Rent The Runway Pieces Delivered To Your Hotel Room," 5 Dec. 2019 If at any point a Hero becomes ineligible, chooses not to participate in the Awards Program or is disqualified for any reason, CNN reserves the right to select an alternate Hero. CNN, "CNN Heroes Legal Disclosures 2020," 5 Dec. 2019 As a senior, Stotts was a team captain and earned First-Team All-Big Eight Conference honors, which led the Houston Rockets to select him in the second round of the NBA draft. Joe Freeman, oregonlive, "Portland Trail Blazers’ Terry Stotts to be inducted to Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame," 5 Dec. 2019 The lanky 6-5 guard showed enough potential to be selected 52nd overall in the 2017 NBA Draft by the New Orleans Pelicans; a draft day trade sent him to the Pacers. Akeem Glaspie, Indianapolis Star, "Guard Edmond Sumner set to rejoin Pacers after rehabbing with Victor Oladipo in G League," 5 Dec. 2019 The Citrus Bowl has no obligation to select the best available Big Ten team. Orion Sang, Detroit Free Press, "Is Michigan football vs. Alabama a dream scenario for Citrus Bowl?," 4 Dec. 2019 Fuji Foods is a food manufacturer that provides ready-to-eat sushi, salads, and spring rolls to select retailers and distributors, including Trader Joe’s. Claudia Harmata,, "Trader Joe’s Is Recalling Some Food Items Over Potential Listeria Contamination — What to Know," 4 Dec. 2019 In October, the Education Board approved a plan for a November 2020 election to select a nine-member Little Rock district school board that would have limits on its authority. Cynthia Howell, Arkansas Online, "State board sets Little Rock work session," 29 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun American Express Card Members can purchase tickets in advance starting Dec. 9 in select markets. Sara M Moniuszko, USA TODAY, "Disguised Adam Levine hands out parking tickets that are actually Maroon 5 concert tickets," 7 Dec. 2019 Up to a $200 Apple Store gift card with select Apple product purchases at Apple. Ars Staff, Ars Technica, "Dealmaster: All the Cyber Monday 2019 tech deals that are still hot," 2 Dec. 2019 Guests can purchase them on select days at Candy Palace in Disneyland park, or at Trolley Treats in Disney California Adventure park. Advertorial, Orange County Register, "Cool Disney Jobs: A Sweet Tradition," 30 Nov. 2019 On your Target run this Black Friday, score 40 percent off of select CHI hair tools. Jennifer Ford, Essence, "The Best Black Friday Deals For 4C Curly Girls," 27 Nov. 2019 Check your Cheese Nips -- the cracker's parent company has issued a voluntary recall for select boxes over contamination with small plastic pieces. Faith Karimi, CNN, "If you're hosting Thanksgiving dinner, check your pantry and fridge for these recalled foods," 24 Nov. 2019 Circle members can also shop select deals that day, starting at 6 pm. Brittney Morgan, House Beautiful, "The Best Black Friday Home Deals to Shop This Year, at All Your Favorite Brands," 23 Nov. 2019 Save 20 percent on select gift cards, including App Store & iTunes and Applebee’s, among others. Doreen Christensen,, "Amazon kicks off Black Friday Deals Week with free gift cards, hot savings on electronics, toys | See the deals," 22 Nov. 2019 The Deal: The British beauty line will offer up to 30 percent off select products between November 25 and December 3, adding an additional 10 percent off on Cyber Monday, December 2. Alexis Rhiannon, Allure, "121 Black Friday and Cyber Monday Deals You Need to Shop," 21 Nov. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'select.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of select


circa 1555, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1566, in the meaning defined at transitive sense


1610, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for select


Latin selectus, past participle of seligere to select, from se- apart (from sed, se without) + legere to gather, select — more at suicide, legend

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Learn More about select

Time Traveler for select

Time Traveler

The first known use of select was circa 1555

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Statistics for select

Last Updated

9 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Select.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 12 December 2019.

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More Definitions for select


How to pronounce select (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of select

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: chosen from a group to include the best people or things
: of the highest quality



English Language Learners Definition of select (Entry 2 of 2)

: to choose (someone or something) from a group
computers : to choose (a particular action, section of text, etc.) especially by using a mouse


se·​lect | \ sə-ˈlekt How to pronounce select (audio) \
selected; selecting

Kids Definition of select

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to pick out from a group I selected a ripe peach.



Kids Definition of select (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : chosen to include the best or most suitable individuals select committees Select students participated in the program.
2 : of special value or excellence a select hotel
se·​lect | \ sə-ˈlekt How to pronounce select (audio) \

Medical Definition of select

: to cause a specified gene, trait, or organism to become more frequent or less frequent usually used with for or againstanimal breeders need to select simultaneously for improved conformity to breed characteristics and against defective genes causing disease

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More from Merriam-Webster on select

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for select

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with select

Spanish Central: Translation of select

Nglish: Translation of select for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of select for Arabic Speakers

Comments on select

What made you want to look up select? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a period of high artistic development

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