Meaning of CHOICE in English


I. ˈchȯis noun

( -s )

Etymology: Middle English chois, from Old French, from choisir to choose, of Germanic origin; akin to Gothic kausjan to examine, test, kjusan to choose — more at choose

1. : the act of choosing ; typically : the voluntary and purposive or deliberate action of picking, singling out, or selecting from two or more that which is favored or superior : the decision reached by such action

the choice made by the voters

Lincoln's choice of Grant as general


a. : the right, privilege, opportunity, or faculty of freely choosing, picking out, or deciding : freedom to pick or decide : option

a captive has little choice

b. : situation demanding choosing or justifying consideration of alternatives

there is no choice between right and wrong


a. : a person, thing, part, way, or characteristic chosen, singled out, or favored typically as best or most likely, fit, or advantageous

New York was the delegates' first choice as capital

b. : an example, part, or instance worthy of being chosen as excellent or best : prime , pick , flower , cream , elite

of the cavalry the king's own was the choice

c. : a person or thing available, fit, or likely to be picked out or designated

several choices for the nomination

4. : a sufficient or ample number or variety for wide or free selection

more choice of fruits at the larger market

5. : care and judgment in choosing : discrimination

pick words with choice

6. : a dilemma involving a decision between alternatives ; also : the one way, person, or thing to be preferred to another

death or exile was the choice


preference , selection , election , option , alternative : choice may suggest freedom in picking out, valuing, or deciding

the oracle has no choice; it must produce an answer — W.D.Howells

Specifically it may suggest individual modifications in obvious or logical criteria

the choice of a cook not for her culinary skill but for her ability to make pretty dishes — Herbert Spencer

preference may heighten notions of personal bias, predilection, or individuality of judgment; it is less likely to suggest a single act of picking, choosing, or deciding

a sterilization of the self, an elimination … of the human bias and preference — Lewis Mumford

his preferences betray him more than his aversions — J.E.E.Acton-Dalburg

selection may suggest careful or wise judgment and discrimination in picking out from a sizable number

when schools attempted, at least, to cultivate discrimination and to furnish the material on which selection can be founded — C.H.Grandgent

election may refer to a definitive or formal choosing after deliberation and to choosing for some explicit role, duty, or function

the solemnity with which religious and ideological groups claim election for special destinies beyond the grave or upon peculiar peaks of history — Cecil Sprigge

In nontechnical uses in today's English option is likely to suggest genuine conferred or guaranteed liberty to choose deliberately

it was the privilege of the English parent to choose whether his children should be instructed or not … the Education Act of 1870 abolished this option — George Sampson

alternative stresses the idea that things not chosen must necessarily be rejected and vice versa

the necessary alternative was to deny it altogether — O.W.Holmes †1935

Although objected to, it is quite common in situations involving more than two choices

our three alternatives — T.E.Lawrence

no third alternative — Walter Moberly

other alternatives existed — Sidney Hook

- by choice

- of choice

II. adjective

( -er/-est )

Etymology: Middle English chois, from chois, n.

1. : worthy of being chosen above others : of highest quality : without blemish, demerit, or disadvantage : fine , select

Monseigneur … sat down alone to his sumptuous and choice supper — Charles Dickens

accepting choicest candidates

stamps in choice condition

2. : well-chosen : selected by keen intuition or by care and deliberation : most appropriate

sinister stories of Paris landlords … told … with singularly choice words — F.M.Ford


a. : fastidious , discriminating

choice of his food

b. : careful , fond

uncommon choice over her daughters — West Somerset Word Book


a. of meat and other products : of highest or next highest quality

b. of beef : of a grade between prime and good


exquisite , elegant , rare , recherché, dainty , delicate : choice indicates preeminence or superiority and may or may not connote the idea of being selected

as from the beds and borders of a garden choice flowers are gathered — William Wordsworth

when education in America began, it was intended for the fit and designed to produce a choice type — C.H.Grandgent

exquisite implies near perfection, especially in craftsmanship, and may also imply an especial appeal to the discriminating

selected for their beauty … and beautified with the numerous Indian cosmetics, these girls were of the most exquisite loveliness — C.B.Nordhoff & J.N.Hall

an exquisite skill of eye and hand which gave them their unique success in that artistic craftsmanship — C.W.Eliot

elegant applies to a refined luxury or richness restrained by good taste

they [the Cavaliers] had more both of profound and of polite learning than the Puritans. Their tempers were more engaging … their tastes more elegant — T.B.Macaulay

his trousers were extremely elegant, a light cloth, black and white check, hung on his legs — George Moore

rare , in this sense, may apply to any uncommon excellence

the rarest cordials old monks ever schemed to coax from pulpy grapes — Amy Lowell

nowhere else do we find such rare and costly marbles — H.T.Buckle

recherché may apply to a studied opulent elegance

the sangfroid, grace, abandon, and recherché nonchalance with which Charles Yates ushers ladies and gentlemen to their seats in the opera house — O.Henry

dainty may apply to the graceful and fragile; it usually applies to what pleases the fastidious

the touch is so light, the fancy so dainty, and the conceit so delicate that the poem remains immortally fresh and young — J.W.Draper

this dainty and somewhat supercilious guest has been brought to the supper by a young Roman — Agnes Repplier

delicate , in this sense, suggests subtlety and fineness and either sensuous or intellectual appeal

the delicate fan tracery and crenellated molding of the screen — Dorothy Sayers

not, however, an effervescing wine, although its delicate piquancy produced a somewhat similar effect — Nathaniel Hawthorne

the exquisite transparency and delicate finish of her work — P.E.More

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.