[ ih-lekt ]
See synonyms for elect on Thesaurus.com
verb (used with object)
  1. to choose or select by vote, as for an office: to elect a mayor.

  2. to determine in favor of (a method, course of action, etc.).

  1. to pick out; choose: First-year students may elect French, Spanish, or German.

  2. Theology. (of God) to select for divine mercy or favor, especially for salvation.

verb (used without object)
  1. to choose or select someone or something, as by voting.

  1. selected, as for an office, but not yet inducted (usually used in combination following a noun): the governor-elect.

  2. select or choice: an elect circle of artists.

  1. Theology. chosen by God, especially for eternal life.

nounthe elect,
  1. a person or the persons chosen or worthy to be chosen.

  2. Theology. a person or persons chosen by God, especially for favor or salvation.

Origin of elect

First recorded in 1250–1300; Middle English, from Latin ēlēctus “chosen” (past participle of ēligere ), equivalent to ē- “out of, from” + leg- “choose” + -tus past participle suffix; see e-1, elite

synonym study For elect

3. See choose.

Other words from elect

  • e·lec·tee [ih-lek-tee], /ɪ lɛkˈti/, noun
  • non·e·lect, noun
  • pre·e·lect, verb (used with object)
  • re·e·lect, verb (used with object)

Other definitions for elect. (2 of 2)


  1. electric.

  2. electrical.

  1. electrician.

  2. electricity.

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use elect in a sentence

  • A measure was introduced benefiting the Sangamon district, so that its electee might befittingly push it, and defend it.

    The Lincoln Story Book | Henry L. Williams

British Dictionary definitions for elect


/ (ɪˈlɛkt) /

  1. (tr) to choose (someone) to be (a representative or a public official) by voting: they elected him Mayor

  2. to select; choose: to elect to die rather than surrender

  1. (tr) (of God) to select or predestine for the grace of salvation

  1. (immediately postpositive) voted into office but not yet installed: the president elect

    • chosen or choice; selected or elite

    • (as collective noun; preceded by the): the elect

  1. Christianity

    • selected or predestined by God to receive salvation; chosen

    • (as collective noun; preceded by the): the elect

Origin of elect

C15: from Latin ēligere to select, from legere to choose

Derived forms of elect

  • electable, adjective
  • electability, 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