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se·​lect sə-ˈlekt How to pronounce select (audio)
: chosen from a number or group by fitness or preference
: of special value or excellence : superior, choice
: exclusively or fastidiously chosen often with regard to social, economic, or cultural characteristics
: judicious or restrictive in choice : discriminating
pleased with the select appreciation of his booksOsbert Sitwell
selectable adjective
selectness noun
selector noun


2 of 3


selected; selecting; selects

transitive verb

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

intransitive verb

: to make a choice


3 of 3


: one that is select
often used in plural

Example Sentences

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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web
In one of its first acts of the new Congress, the House overwhelmingly supported the creation of a new select committee to investigate the relationship between the United States and the Chinese Communist Party. Alex Thomas, Arkansas Online, 7 Feb. 2023 There is already a new select committee in the House of Representatives to investigate the strategic challenges posed by China. David Pierson,, 4 Feb. 2023 In the first weeks of the new Congress, the House prioritized bills targeting the Chinese Communist Party and stood up a select committee to counter its growing influence. David Sivak, Washington Examiner, 3 Feb. 2023 McCarthy has unilateral authority as speaker to remove any lawmaker from a select committee, such as the Intelligence Committee. Marianna Sotomayor, Anchorage Daily News, 1 Feb. 2023 Last week, McCarthy unilaterally removed Reps. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., and Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., from the House Intelligence Committee, a select committee, citing national security concerns. Louis Casiano, Fox News, 30 Jan. 2023 McCarthy was able to remove Schiff and Swalwell from their assignments unilaterally as speaker because the House Intelligence Committee is a select committee. Ken Tran, USA TODAY, 29 Jan. 2023 Greene has been appointed to the House Oversight and Homeland Security panels, as well as a new select committee that will evaluate how the nation responded to the COVID-19 pandemic. al, 25 Jan. 2023 Unlike the 20 permanent committees in the House, the Intelligence panel is a select committee, which gives McCarthy, as speaker, the authority to appoint or refuse members to serve on the panel. Melissa Quinn, CBS News, 23 Jan. 2023
This time, select all images featuring outfits from the French historical period known as La Belle Époque. Anand Giridharadas, The New Yorker, 4 Mar. 2023 Guests select ingredients from the buffet — most produced in Korea, save for the vegetables — and cook tableside. Youyoung Lee, NBC News, 3 Mar. 2023 Accessibility > Hearing, and select Hearing Devices. Simon Hill, WIRED, 3 Mar. 2023 Veteran’s Crisis Line: 988, then select 1, or text: 838255. Candy Woodall, USA TODAY, 3 Mar. 2023 As for the third overall pick in the draft, Ossenfort reiterated on Tuesday that the Cardinals will be ready to select the best player available and also be willing to trade out of the spot if the right deal is made between now and then. Bob Mcmanaman, The Arizona Republic, 1 Mar. 2023 What to look for when shopping for the best coffee and espresso makers ✔️ Coffee type: When choosing a combination coffee and espresso machine, select the type that best suits your preferences for pre-ground coffee, whole beans or pods. Jamie Kim, Good Housekeeping, 28 Feb. 2023 No problem; CookUnity can select them for you based on your preferences. Will Franke, Peoplemag, 27 Feb. 2023 Those traveling with kids under the age of 12 can select seats together for free while booking in the family section. Rachel Chang, Condé Nast Traveler, 24 Feb. 2023
Jones was a Pro Bowl select in 2018 and signed a five-year deal with the Miami Dolphins worth $82 million in 2020. Natasha Dye, Peoplemag, 27 Feb. 2023 Layla, what [00:23:00] was the bad news for Larry Householder that came out yesterday As jury select or no jury selection begins today. Laura Johnston, cleveland, 20 Jan. 2023 These are among the select but slowly growing list of Americans living under a strange penalty, that has proved a source of pride, bafflement, and in some cases, consternation: Russian sanctions. Adam Taylor, Washington Post, 6 Jan. 2023 China’s government is providing to Americans, says the incoming chairman of a new House select committee on China. Andrew Millman, CNN, 1 Jan. 2023 Ernest and Bailey Zimmerman are set to open the concert run, with HARDY and Parker McCollum opening select shows. Jessica Nicholson, Billboard, 2 Dec. 2022 Oktoberfest celebration: ICON Park is hosting its first annual Oktoberfest celebration select dates Sept. 16 through Oct. 2. Amanda Kondolojy, Orlando Sentinel, 29 Sep. 2022 The House select committee, formed in July 2021 after an effort to create an independent commission was ultimately blocked by Republicans, will expire at year's end. Katherine Faulders, ABC News, 19 Dec. 2022 That order was part of a legal battle between Eastman and the House select committee. Kathryn Watson, CBS News, 19 Dec. 2022 See More

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.

Word History



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

First Known Use


circa 1555, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1566, in the meaning defined at transitive sense


1610, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of select was circa 1555

Dictionary Entries Near select

Cite this Entry

“Select.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 verb
se·​lect sə-ˈlekt How to pronounce select (audio)
: to pick out from a number or group : choose
: to choose (a particular action or a section of text on a computer screen) especially using a mouse


2 of 2 adjective
: chosen from a number or group to include the best or most suitable individuals
invited only a few select employees
: of special value or excellence : superior, choice
a select hotel

Medical Definition


intransitive verb
se·​lect sə-ˈlekt How to pronounce select (audio)
: to cause a specified gene, trait, or organism to become more frequent or less frequent
usually used with for or against
animal breeders need to select simultaneously for improved conformity to breed characteristics and against defective genes causing disease

More from Merriam-Webster on select

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