Definition of choice in US English:



  • 1An act of selecting or making a decision when faced with two or more possibilities.

    ‘the choice between good and evil’
    • ‘CJ is given a choice between her job and Danny and she chooses her job without a second's hesitation.’
    • ‘He had to make a choice between art and parenthood, and he ultimately chose art.’
    • ‘We forget that when people are given a choice between freedom and tyranny, they will choose freedom.’
    • ‘Users will now be given the possibility of a choice between different suppliers at an earlier time.’
    • ‘Context and class determine the choice between modern and traditional clothes.’
    • ‘When they're given a choice between freedom and tyranny, they choose freedom.’
    • ‘Any information that can be reduced to a choice between two or more possibilities can be expressed using bits.’
    • ‘Given a choice between two ways to make money, everyone chooses the way that makes us feel good.’
    • ‘Other findings showed that consumers wanted to be able to make an informed choice between GM and non-GM food.’
    • ‘The capacity of consumers to drive efficiency can be undermined by an inability to make an informed choice between plans.’
    • ‘It has not created a polarized choice between spoken and printed information.’
    • ‘So from now on, where I have a choice between the two, I know who I'm choosing.’
    • ‘I take it that you don't see this as an easy choice between these two men.’
    • ‘It will almost certainly come down to a choice between which of two groups of advisers you choose to believe.’
    • ‘When given the choice between swimming or drowning, choose swimming every time.’
    • ‘He did specify though that if it came down to a choice between a bridge or a ferry service he would opt for the bridge option.’
    • ‘I had a choice between cancelling my appointment, or attempting the journey with one mirror.’
    • ‘I said my mom gave me a choice between Seattle and the beach and that I chose Seattle.’
    • ‘That choice between settling for what we've got, or striving for what we [want], is at the core of every challenge we face in education.’
    • ‘Given the choice between withdrawing or dying, he would almost certainly choose the former.’
    option, alternative, possibility, possible course of action
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    1. 1.1 The right or ability to make, or possibility of making, such a selection.
      ‘I had to do it, I had no choice’
      • ‘They do not introduce real, meaningful choice and freedoms which are required for foundation hospitals to work effectively.’
      • ‘We are concerned about the people and their ability to have choice.’
      • ‘Diversity is not just freedom and choice; it is also disorientation and fragmentation.’
      • ‘They also posit that creative leadership is just as much about choice as ability.’
      • ‘The complaint is frequently made that voters have little real choice at election time because the parties are all alike.’
      • ‘The American people have the ability and choice to refuse the policies of their Government and even to change it if they want.’
      • ‘By allowing residents from across west London to choose where they want to live we are giving more choice, more freedom and more flexibility.’
      • ‘Science alone should not be given the task of answering questions about freedom and choice.’
      • ‘Within my home country I have little freedom or choice, and would rather live elsewhere.’
      • ‘Let's not agonise over the people's choice in an election where no choice was offered.’
      • ‘Of course, people will still debate whether, if women had real choice, they might choose sex work.’
      • ‘Very few Americans with any choice will choose to live in a place where they have to share a bathroom.’
      • ‘In short, the ifeminist calls for freedom, choice, and personal responsibility.’
      • ‘For a man who says he favors human freedom and choice, McKibben is awfully eager to limit both.’
      • ‘What rubbish, we live in a country where we have freedom of speech and choice.’
      • ‘These conditions constrain choice rather than offering freedom.’
      • ‘In reality, it is the schools that choose, and parental choice becomes almost meaningless.’
      • ‘Freedom and choice are wonderful things that allow us to realize our human potential.’
      • ‘And, of course, greater freedom and choice bring new tensions into play.’
      • ‘In this case, the player has the choice of making the range either all the cards of that rank or all the cards of that suit.’
      selection, choosing, picking
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    2. 1.2 A range of possibilities from which one or more may be selected.
      ‘you can have a sofa made to order in a choice of over forty fabrics’
      • ‘Bathrooms have electric showers and a select choice of tiling and shower curtain options.’
      • ‘With the closed question, the respondent is given a limited choice of possible answers.’
      • ‘The offspring may be presented with a fait accompli, or possibly a choice of partner, but it is made clear she has to marry.’
      • ‘Have you ever, when considering what to buy a friend for Christmas, made your choice of a price range by reference to the value of what they bought you last year?’
      • ‘We've reduced our choice of possible destinations to two.’
      • ‘The choices will range from low risk to medium risk managed funds invested in a mix of equities.’
      • ‘Walkers set off from Cudham village on a choice of routes ranging from three to eight miles.’
      • ‘There is a choice of cottages ranging from one to four bedrooms.’
      • ‘Consumers should be afforded a choice insofar as possible through increased competition.’
      • ‘With an ever growing range of options for shoppers the choice has never been better.’
      • ‘For some commentators, however, simply selecting from a choice of options does not mean interactivity.’
      • ‘I have my choice of activities, ranging from kayaking and sailing to snorkeling and shelling.’
      • ‘Apple's laptop range offers a choice of screen sizes, optical drives and processor speeds.’
      • ‘In fact, people living near Weld now have choices that were not possible until recently.’
      • ‘All this background conveniently provides the key players with motives for murder, but it also leaves a choice of possible victims.’
      • ‘Where there was royal or wealthy patronage the choice could range from a grand audience chamber to an intimate drawing-room.’
      • ‘The choice of bar can range from a close-knit pub setting to a party animal's dream.’
      • ‘There is a reasonable choice ranging between salmon to chicken with burgers and sandwiches in between.’
      • ‘I note the council's arguments about the value of the surplus in assuring a choice and range of sites.’
      • ‘The Boeing business jet also comes with a choice of interior decoration ranging from the basic to sumptuous.’
      selection, choosing, picking
      option, alternative, possibility, possible course of action
      range, variety, selection, assortment
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    3. 1.3 A course of action, thing, or person that is selected or decided upon.
      ‘this CD drive is the perfect choice for your computer’
      • ‘Sam Raimi is revealed to be the perfect choice to direct this film.’
      • ‘Bovell was the perfect choice to oversee the soundtrack project and incidental music.’
      • ‘The flight prize was an easy choice for the leading lawman with a long-standing interest in aviation.’
      • ‘At first glance, Jackson seems an unlikely choice for such a high - profile and expensive undertaking.’
      • ‘Hooray for Gotham, though - a perfect choice by someone who knew what they were doing.’
      • ‘In any event, you are the perfect choice to represent this President overseas.’
      • ‘In reality this island is actually a perfect choice for any family with teenagers.’
      • ‘And platinum, because of its subdued, understated style, becomes the perfect choice.’
      • ‘Living alone, and with no family, they had deemed him a perfect choice to carry out their attack.’
      • ‘A true lover of art, culture and literature, he has proved himself to be a perfect choice as the Trust's chairman.’
      • ‘You might think me an unlikely choice as I have never held even a minor office in the Catholic Church, but I think I might be quite good at it anyway.’
      • ‘Yeah, the bloke who'd been so badly injured they'd pulled him off the pitch would have been the perfect choice to take an important spot kick.’
      • ‘Schreiber is the perfect choice for the part, anonymous enough to blend into every crowd yet distinctive enough to register.’
      • ‘If you had to pick just one pop song to illustrate just how great the medium can be, this would be a perfect choice.’
      • ‘Philip Glass is the perfect choice to provide a soundtrack to a film about the life of Virginia Woolf.’
      • ‘A perfect choice for an album closer, this track would be an ideal candidate for second release.’
      • ‘Garry was an ideal choice to present the prize on behalf of the slimming group because he lost two stones through their plan earlier this year.’
      • ‘Particularly, chopsticks are also a good choice when people send presents to relatives and friends.’
      • ‘Residential property seems an unlikely choice for small investors.’
      • ‘Why are Al Green's 1970s soul singles still the perfect choice for a dark bar or a wedding dance?’
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  • 1(especially of food) of very good quality.

    ‘he picked some choice early plums’
    • ‘It was a big change, she was less timid now that she had to fight to get the choice piece of meat she had cooked and make her way around the ship.’
    • ‘Next, all the bunny needs is patience, a little tender loving care and a few choice spices.’
    • ‘Live From Dakota contains plenty of tracks from the most recent album, as well as some choice selections from the back catalogue.’
    • ‘Mostly the Dutch just got started earlier, so they snapped up some of the choice cargoes.’
    • ‘And it was another of his controversial selections who stepped up to prove himself a choice pick.’
    • ‘If you've never thought of anything but coffee as your cup of tea, try these ten choice selections.’
    • ‘Sweet but not cloying, it's a choice dessert for health-conscious diners.’
    • ‘The show also features choice morsels of mayhem from Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth and Richard III.’
    • ‘In blind taste tests consumers have rated the taste and texture of ostrich steaks equal to choice beef loin steaks.’
    • ‘It is said that he came to this little town with but ten dollars, ten potatoes and few choice books.’
    • ‘She sprang on the deer the moment that Temer pulled back and started feasting on some of the choice meat.’
    • ‘Analyses of variance were used to compare food choice motives and the importance of family meals in each culture.’
    • ‘The old West European empires were quick to snap up the choice leftovers of Ottoman rule in the Middle East.’
    • ‘After Mass the guests were treated to refreshments, soup, sandwiches and a variety of other choice foods.’
    • ‘It is considered very polite to occasionally select a choice morsel for the person sitting beside you or to place it on his or her plate.’
    • ‘Ice cream cups and soup bowls made of shells are choice items for friends.’
    • ‘Sometimes you'll see one holding a choice morsel in both hands, like a child clutching a big apple.’
    • ‘It savored a few choice morsels from the CSS and actually rendered them properly.’
    • ‘Then he would eat his favourite food by picking off choice meat off of the bone of extra rare chicken tikkas.’
    • ‘There was a huge harvest to be reaped, and every good reason for him to have a choice slice of it.’
    superior, first-class, first-rate, prime, premier, grade a, best, finest, excellent, select, quality, high-quality, top, top-quality, high-grade, of the first water, prize, special, exclusive, hand-picked, carefully chosen, vintage, fine
    well chosen, well put, well expressed
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  • 2(of words, phrases, or language) rude and abusive.

    ‘he had a few choice words at his command’
    • ‘But during his brief tenure, Thomson has had choice words for both the government and the opposition.’
    • ‘One old school manager described a half-time talk that involved choice words and threats of violence.’
    • ‘At least the Brazilian is admitting it and has this week, in typical Elber fashion, offered a few choice words on the Bayern predicament.’
    • ‘The family was forced to move, and Yeats sent Lady Gregory a few choice words about his idolized beloved.’
    • ‘Grumbling, Lacey finally emerged from the undergrowth with a few choice words for Alaindar.’
    • ‘His forwards had a few choice words for him on that one.’
    • ‘He greeted Warne with a few choice words when he went in to bat on the Friday afternoon.’
    • ‘Kirby was up to his old tricks against his former county, running down the pitch and eyeballing the batsman as well as passing on a few choice words.’
    • ‘And he has a few choice words for the endless number of academies and centres of excellence.’
    • ‘Keane reacted angrily to a tackle from David Beckham and after pushing the England captain his manager had a few choice words.’
    • ‘You can imagine the way I felt and a few choice words were said.’
    • ‘We were both ready to jump on the salesman and end up being arrested for assault but left with a few choice words from Debbie!’
    • ‘He denounced my son Tim's plan to move to New York City with some very choice language.’
    • ‘I wrote a rather nasty post which involved some rather choice words.’
    • ‘The roads were unbelievable with the weather making them so slippy and James had a few choice words.’
    • ‘It devotes nearly a chapter to Walsh and his crusade, and Lance chips in a few choice words about the man too.’
    • ‘Federico whips around and delivers a few choice words in Spanish.’
    • ‘Now he is taking a leave of absence, and had a few choice words for the newspaper.’
    • ‘As my gaiters filled top down with slime, I uttered a few choice words but was not unduly alarmed.’
    • ‘Sample a few choice words, throw them in scare quotes and repeat.’
    rude, abusive, insulting, offensive, unprintable
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  • by choice

    • Of one's own volition.

      • ‘There was no starving to death by choice or through circumstance, only hunger.’
      • ‘Yet, they insist, they are performers by birth and caste, not by choice.’
      • ‘You love change and use it to your advantage, whether by choice or by chance.’
      • ‘Not the place you would want to work by choice, but our intrepid weather officer just needs a little more time.’
      • ‘If you're going to write, you might as well know the rules, so then if you break them, at least it will be by choice.’
      • ‘Out of an office of eight recruiters, only one of them was there by choice.’
      • ‘I know plenty of couples who are childless by choice, and will remain that way.’
      • ‘The only acceptable defence used to be, ‘I am a virgin by choice - but not my own’.’
      • ‘By choice you came to this land and by choice you're fighting for this country and that is extraordinary.’
      • ‘For these and other reasons, some journalists covered the war unilaterally by choice.’
      voluntarily, of one's own accord, of one's own free will, of one's own volition, of one's own choice, of one's own choosing, by preference
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  • of choice

    • Selected as one's favorite or the best.

      ‘champagne was his drink of choice’
      • ‘LSD, his drug of choice, soon took over his life and his performance in the band declined.’
      • ‘Tea is now the Big Yin's drink of choice, having eschewed alcohol in all its forms for many years.’
      • ‘Officers are the snipers' target of choice, so nobody wears overt marks of rank.’
      • ‘The 2.55 quickly established itself as the bag of choice for chic women the world over.’
      • ‘Their drink of choice is lager, and lots of it, but they down a lot of coke too.’
      • ‘Tea appears to be the drink of choice for individuals wishing to preserve the health of their bones.’
      • ‘Finally each predicts the hands on the trophy and the winner buys dinner at their restaurant of choice.’
      • ‘American whiskey has always been the drink of choice for the fashionable rebel.’
      • ‘No rationale exists for selecting nimesulide as the first drug of choice for fever or pain.’
      • ‘Crystal meth is fast becoming the drug of choice for many looking for a cheap and easy high.’
      best-loved, most-liked, favoured, dearest, treasured, pet, special, closest to one's heart
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  • of one's choice

    • That one chooses or has chosen.

      ‘the college of her choice’
      • ‘And I, uh, gave lots of money to the religion of my choice, AND their chosen political party.’
      • ‘The mother, named only as Sheila, spoke of her dilemma as she described how delighted her daughter was when she found she had received a place in the college of her choice in a different part of the country.’
      • ‘For many the news will be good, confirming that they can now go to the university or college of their choice.’
      • ‘Today I come out of my own will to choose freely the candidate of my choice for the first and last time in my life.’
      • ‘So even if your child does everything right, she or he may not get into the college of their choice.’
      • ‘Apparently it's all about people's right to choose the sausage roll of their choice.’
      • ‘Only students who have passed both tests can enroll in the college of their choice.’
      • ‘In short, hers is the power to choose the mate of her choice.’
      • ‘Some of the questions they ask range from potential college majors to schools of your choice.’
      • ‘I thought it would be something lame, but the moment everyone was in the classroom, our teacher led us outside and told us to choose a weapon of our choice.’


Middle English: from Old French chois, from choisir ‘choose’, of Germanic origin and related to choose.