• synonyms


[ si-lek-shuhn ]
/ sɪˈlɛk ʃən /


an act or instance of selecting or the state of being selected; choice.
a thing or a number of things selected.
an aggregate of things displayed for choice, purchase, use, etc.; a group from which a choice may be made: The store had a wide selection of bracelets.
Biology. any natural or artificial process that results in differential reproduction among the members of a population so that the inheritable traits of only certain individuals are passed on, or are passed on in greater proportion, to succeeding generations.Compare natural selection, sexual selection, kin selection, artificial selection.
  1. the choice of one form instead of another in a position where either can occur, as of ask instead of tell or with in the phrase ask me.
  2. the choice of one semantic or syntactic class of words in a construction, to the exclusion of others that do not occur there, as the choice of an animate object for the verb surprise.




option, excerpt, collection, choice, draft, election, pick, alternative, druthers, choosing, culling

Nearby words

select, select committee, selecta, selectance, selectee, selection, selection rule, selective, selective attention, selective inhibition, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor

Origin of selection

1640–50; < Latin sēlēctiōn- (stem of sēlēctiō), equivalent to sēlēct(us) (see select) + -iōn- -ion
SYNONYMS FOR selection
Related formsse·lec·tion·al, adjectivenon·se·lec·tion, nounre·se·lec·tion, nounsu·per·se·lec·tion, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for selection

British Dictionary definitions for selection


/ (sɪˈlɛkʃən) /


the act or an instance of selecting or the state of being selected
a thing or number of things that have been selected
a range from which something may be selectedthis shop has a good selection of clothes
biology the natural or artificial process by which certain organisms or characters are reproduced and perpetuated in the species in preference to othersSee also natural selection
a contestant in a race chosen as likely to win or come second or third
  1. the act of free-selecting
  2. a tract of land acquired by free-selection
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 selection



1620s, "act of selecting," from Latin selectionem (nominative selectio) "a choosing out, choice, selection," noun of action from past participle stem of seligere (see select (adj.)). Meaning "thing selected" is from 1805. Biological sense is from 1837; applied to actions of breeders (methodical selection), hence its use by Darwin (natural selection; 1857). French sélection is a 19c. borrowing from English.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for selection


[ sĭ-lĕkshən ]


A natural or artificial process that favors or induces survival and perpetuation of one kind of organism over others that die or fail to produce offspring.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.