[ chooz ]
See synonyms for: choosechooseschoosingchosen on

verb (used with object),chose; cho·sen or (Obsolete) chose; choos·ing.
  1. to select from a number of possibilities; pick by preference: She chose Sunday for her departure.

  2. to prefer or decide (to do something): He chose to run for election.

  1. to want; desire: I choose moving to the city.

  2. (especially in children's games) to contend with (an opponent) to decide, as by odd or even, who will do something: I'll choose you to see who gets to bat first.

verb (used without object),chose; cho·sen or (Obsolete) chose; choos·ing.
  1. to make a choice, or select from two or more possibilities: Accepted by several colleges, the boy chose carefully.

  2. to be inclined: You may stay here, if you choose.

  1. (especially in children's games) to decide, as by means of odd or even, who will do something:Let's choose to see who bats first.

Verb Phrases
  1. choose up,

    • to select (players) for a contest or game: The kids chose up sides for the game.

    • to select players for a contest or game: We have to choose up before we can play.

Idioms about choose

  1. cannot choose but, cannot do otherwise than; is or are obliged to: He cannot choose but obey.

Origin of choose

First recorded before 1000; Middle English chosen, chēsen, Old English cēosan; cognate with Gothic kiusan, Old High German kiosan (German kiesen ); akin to Greek geúesthai “to enjoy,” Latin gustāre “to taste” (see gusto)

synonym study For choose

1. Choose, select, pick, elect, prefer indicate a decision that one or more possibilities are to be regarded more highly than others. Choose suggests a decision on one of a number of possibilities because of its apparent superiority: to choose a course of action. Select suggests a choice made for fitness: to select the proper golf club. Pick, an informal word, suggests a selection on personal grounds: to pick a winner. The formal word elect suggests a kind of official action: to elect a representative. Prefer, also formal, emphasizes the desire or liking for one thing more than for another or others: to prefer coffee to tea.

Other words from choose

  • choos·a·ble, adjective
  • chooser, noun
  • pre·choose, verb (used with object), pre·chose, pre·cho·sen, pre·choos·ing.
  • re·choose, verb, re·chose, re·cho·sen, re·choos·ing.
  • un·choos·a·ble, adjective

Words that may be confused with choose Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use choose in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for choose


/ (tʃuːz) /

verbchooses, choosing, chose or chosen
  1. to select (a person, thing, course of action, etc) from a number of alternatives

  2. (tr; takes a clause as object or an infinitive) to consider it desirable or proper: I don't choose to read that book

  1. (intr) to like; please: you may stand if you choose

  2. cannot choose but to be obliged to: we cannot choose but vote for him

  3. nothing to choose between or little to choose between (of two people or objects) almost equal

Origin of choose

Old English ceosan; related to Old Norse kjōsa, Old High German kiosan

Derived forms of choose

  • chooser, noun

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

Other Idioms and Phrases with choose


In addition to the idiom beginning with choose

  • choose up

also see:

  • beggars can't be choosers
  • pick and choose

Also see underchoice.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.