verb (used with object)

to choose in preference to another or others; pick out.

verb (used without object)

to make a choice; pick.


chosen in preference to another or others; selected.
choice; of special value or excellence.
careful or fastidious in selecting; discriminating.
carefully or fastidiously chosen; exclusive: a select group of friends.

Origin of select

1555–65; < Latin sēlēctus (past participle of sēligere to gather apart), equivalent to sē- se- + leg(ere) to gather, choose + -tus past participle suffix
Related formsse·lec·ta·ble, adjectivese·lec·ta·bil·i·ty, nounse·lect·ly, adverbse·lect·ness, nounse·lec·tor, nounnon·se·lect·ed, adjectivere·se·lect, verb (used with object)un·se·lect, adjectiveun·se·lect·ed, adjectivewell-se·lect·ed, adjective

Synonym study

1. See choose. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for selecting

Contemporary Examples of selecting

Historical Examples of selecting

  • He is selecting those he wants, and the rest he will send to their homes.

    Roden's Corner

    Henry Seton Merriman

  • He was selecting a table, when a step on the verandah made him look up.

    Roden's Corner

    Henry Seton Merriman

  • Selecting one key, he stepped up to a cabinet and opened it.

    A Son of Hagar

    Sir Hall Caine

  • Rules to assist in selecting the equipment will, however, be given.

  • Here, again, the only precaution is to take pains in selecting the site.

British Dictionary definitions for selecting



to choose (someone or something) in preference to another or others


Also: selected chosen in preference to another or others
of particular quality or excellence
limited as to membership or entrya select gathering
careful in making a choice
Derived Formsselectly, adverbselectness, noun

Word Origin for select

C16: from Latin sēligere to sort, from sē- apart + legere 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

Word Origin and History for selecting



1560s, from Latin selectus, past participle of seligere "choose out, single out, select; separate, cull," from se- "apart" (see secret (n.)) + legere "to gather, select" (see lecture (n.)). The noun meaning "a selected person or thing, that which is choice" is recorded from c.1600. New England selectman first recorded 1640s.



1560s, from select (adj.) or from Latin selectus. Related: Selected; selecting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper