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[op-shuh n] /ˈɒp ʃən/
the power or right of choosing.
something that may be or is chosen; choice.
the act of choosing.
an item of equipment or a feature that may be chosen as an addition to or replacement for standard equipment and features:
a car with a long list of extra-cost options; a telephoto lens option for a camera.
a privilege acquired, as by the payment of a premium or consideration, of demanding, within a specified time, the carrying out of a transaction upon stipulated terms; the right, as granted in a contract or by an initial payment, of acquiring something in the future:
We bought one lot and took a 90-day option on an adjoining one.
Football. a play in which a back has a choice of either passing or running with the ball.
verb (used with object)
to acquire or grant an option on:
The studio has optioned his latest novel for film adaptation.
to provide with optional equipment:
The car can be fully optioned at additional cost.
Origin of option
1595-1605; < Latin optiōn- (stem of optiō) choice, equivalent to op(tāre) to select (see opt) + -tiōn- -tion
Related forms
optionable, adjective
preoption, noun
2, 3. selection, election.
Synonym Study
2. See choice. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for option
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The Government took an option on 750,000 hides then in the hands of the packers.

  • She had then no option but to walk up to the spot where Norbert was seated.

    The Champdoce Mystery Emile Gaboriau
  • Possession of them made him feel that already he had obtained an option on six hours of complete happiness.

    The Red Cross Girl Richard Harding Davis
  • But I think one has the option of silence—partial at any rate.

  • A few months ago I renewed the option for three more years; each time I paid the owners a thousand dollars for the option.

    To Him That Hath Leroy Scott
British Dictionary definitions for option


the act or an instance of choosing or deciding
the power or liberty to choose
an exclusive opportunity, usually for a limited period, to buy something at a future date: he has a six-month option on the Canadian rights to this book
(commerce) the right to buy (call option) or sell (put option) a fixed quantity of a commodity, security, foreign exchange, etc, at a fixed price at a specified date in the future See also traded option
something chosen; choice
(NZ) short for local option
keep one's options open, leave one's options open, not to commit oneself
(transitive) to obtain or grant an option on
Word Origin
C17: from Latin optiō free choice, from optāre to choose
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for option

c.1600, "action of choosing," from French option (Old French opcion), from Latin optionem (nominative optio) "choice, free choice, liberty to choose," from root of optare "to desire, choose," from PIE root *op- "to choose, prefer." Meaning "thing that may be chosen" is attested from 1885. Commercial transaction sense first recorded 1755 (the verb in this sense is from 1934). As a North American football play, it is recorded from 1954.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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