option

noun
op·​tion | \ ˈäp-shən How to pronounce option (audio) \

Definition of option

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : an act of choosing hard to make an option between such alternatives
2a : the power or right to choose : freedom of choice He has the option to cancel the deal.
b : a privilege of demanding fulfillment of a contract on any day within a specified time
c : a contract conveying a right to buy or sell designated securities, commodities, or property interest at a specified price during a stipulated period also : the right conveyed by an option The ad is for a condo to rent with an option to buy.
d : a right of an insured person to choose the form in which payments due on a policy shall be made or applied
3 : something that may be chosen: such as
a : an alternative course of action didn't have many options open
b : an item that is offered in addition to or in place of standard equipment A sunroof is one of the options that you can get with the car.
4 : an offensive football play in which a back (see back entry 1 sense 3) may choose whether to pass or run with the ball

called also option play

option

verb
optioned; optioning; options

Definition of option (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to grant or take an option on
2 : to acquire the exclusive right to use (an author's work) as the basis for a motion picture the studio optioned the novel for a film

Choose the Right Synonym for option

Noun

choice, option, alternative, preference, selection, election mean the act or opportunity of choosing or the thing chosen. choice suggests the opportunity or privilege of choosing freely. freedom of choice option implies a power to choose that is specifically granted or guaranteed. the option of paying now or later alternative implies a need to choose one and reject another possibility. equally attractive alternatives preference suggests a choice guided by one's judgment or predilections. a preference for cool weather selection implies a range of choice. a varied selection of furniture election implies an end or purpose which requires exercise of judgment. doing a tax return forces certain elections on you

Examples of option in a Sentence

Noun You have the option of staying home or coming with us. He has the option to cancel the deal. We have a wide range of options available to us. Menu options at the café include soups, salads, and sandwiches. Select an option from the drop-down menu. Filing taxes online is an option for people with Internet access. I had no option but to start over. A good option is to do the work yourself. Employees will each be granted options to buy 1,000 shares of company stock. The option must be exercised within five years. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun These findings could have implications for how people manage their mental health, offering another option for people to try, Lambert said. Steven Reinberg, Chicago Tribune, 14 May 2022 The city also has a traffic calming program, which is another option to address specific traffic safety concerns. Evan Casey, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 12 May 2022 Fresh flowers are another great option with minimal commitment. Lindsey M. Roberts, Washington Post, 12 May 2022 Another option would be starting Vic, but then spacing becomes an issue, as well as the overlap of the games of Oladipo and Jimmy Butler. Ira Winderman, Sun Sentinel, 10 May 2022 Southeastern Indianapolis is about to get another public transit option. Kayla Dwyer, The Indianapolis Star, 10 May 2022 Buying a villa and staying forever is another viable option. Stacey Lastoe, Travel + Leisure, 10 May 2022 Something similar to Salt Lake City’s Gateway or its 9th and 9th district, some suggest, including greenery, sidewalks and another grocery store option. Alixel Cabrera, The Salt Lake Tribune, 8 May 2022 Shein is another budget-friendly option for those looking for good plus-sized options. Josie Howell | Jhowell@al.com, al, 3 May 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Base Macan buyers can option up all these corner-carving goodies, too, including Michelin summer tires and the adaptive dampers, but most of them come standard on the T. Connor Hoffman, Car and Driver, 29 Mar. 2022 When Thomas Savage's Dog was published as a novel in 1967, Newman was one of the first to option the book for a film, ostensibly starring himself in the Cumberbatch role. Maureen Lee Lenker, EW.com, 19 Mar. 2022 In previous years, there was no cap on such transactions; now teams may option a player only five times before waivers would take effect. Susan Slusser, San Francisco Chronicle, 11 Mar. 2022 Campo also teamed with Bruna Papandrea’s Made Up Stories to option The Latecomer for television. Lesley Goldberg, The Hollywood Reporter, 3 Mar. 2022 Buyers can option racing stripes in Satin Gray for the white paint job or Satin Black with the Carbon Flash look. Caleb Miller, Car and Driver, 25 Jan. 2022 In January 2015, seven months before his book was published, Anderson got a call from a producer who wanted to option it for a movie. Scott D. Pierce, The Salt Lake Tribune, 2 Jan. 2022 The premium, High Country trim is the first Chevy truck (following the Chevy Bolt EUV electric hatchback) to option GM’s Super Cruise drive-assist system. Dallas News, 18 Sep. 2021 Users will also have to option to switch from lossless to a lossy 24-bit 96kHz setting. Mark Sparrow, Forbes, 1 Sep. 2021 See More

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

First Known Use of option

Noun

circa 1550, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1888, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for option

Noun and Verb

French, from Latin option-, optio free choice; akin to Latin optare to choose

Learn More About option

Time Traveler for option

Time Traveler

The first known use of option was circa 1550

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near option

opt in

option

optional

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for option

Last Updated

18 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Option.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/option. Accessed 21 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for option

option

noun
op·​tion | \ ˈäp-shən How to pronounce option (audio) \

Kids Definition of option

1 : the power or right to choose Children have an option between milk or juice.
2 : something that can be chosen Quitting is not an option.
3 : a right to buy or sell something at a specified price during a specified period His parents took an option on the house.

option

noun
op·​tion | \ ˈäp-shən How to pronounce option (audio) \

Legal Definition of option

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the power or right to choose also : a choice made or available
2 : a privilege of demanding fulfillment of a contract on any day within a specified time
3 : a contract conveying in exchange for the payment of a premium a right to buy or sell designated securities, commodities, or interests in property at a specified price during a stipulated period also : the right conveyed by such a contract decided to exercise his option
call option
: an option to buy at a fixed price at or within a certain time — compare put option in this entry
covered option
: an option in which the optionor owns the security or commodity to be conveyed under the option — compare naked option in this entry
futures option
: an option on futures
incentive stock option \ in-​ˈsen-​tiv-​ \
: a stock option granted by a corporation to its officers and employees as supplementary compensation that is subject to special tax treatment under the Internal Revenue Code
index option
: an option on a stock index
naked option
: an option in which the optionor does not own the security or commodity and will have to purchase it at market price if the optionee decides to exercise the option — compare covered option in this entry
put option
: an option to sell for a fixed price at or within a specified time
stock option
: an option giving the optionee the right to purchase a specified number of shares of stock from a corporation at a specified price at or within a specified time — see also incentive stock option in this entry
4 : a right of an insured to choose the form in which various payments due him or her on a policy shall be made or applied
dividend option
: an option allowing the owner of a participating insurance policy and especially a life insurance policy to determine how dividends are to be paid (as in cash or by being applied as payment for additional insurance)
installments-for-a-fixed-amount option
: a settlement option in which the insurer retains the policy proceeds and makes periodic payments of a fixed amount until the proceeds are exhausted

called also fixed amount option

installments-for-a-fixed-period option
: a settlement option in which the policy proceeds are retained by the insurer and paid in installments over a fixed period of time

called also fixed period option

interest-only option
: a settlement option in which the insurer retains the policy proceeds and makes interest payments at a guaranteed minimum rate
joint-and-last-survivorship option
: an option in which the insurer makes periodic payments to two or more persons (as a husband and wife) of the proceeds or usually cash value of a policy until the death of the last survivor
life income option
: a settlement option in which the insurer retains the policy proceeds and makes periodic payments for the beneficiary's life or for a specified number of years even after the beneficiary's death with payments to a different recipient
nonforfeiture option \ ˌnän-​ˈfȯr-​fə-​ˌchu̇r-​ \
: an option (as to surrender the policy for its cash value or convert the policy to one with a smaller face amount or to a term policy with a shorter period) available to a policyholder who has ceased paying premiums
settlement option
: an option to receive payments of the proceeds of a life insurance policy other than by lump sum

option

transitive verb

Legal Definition of option (Entry 2 of 2)

: to grant or take an option on started buying or optioning riverfront land— Rita Koselka

More from Merriam-Webster on option

Nglish: Translation of option for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of option for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about option

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Name That Food

  • a-light
  • Name these cookies!
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!