Definition of choose in English:



  • 1 Pick out or select (someone or something) as being the best or most appropriate of two or more alternatives.

    ‘he chose a seat facing the door’
    [no object] ‘now it's my turn to choose’
    • ‘There must be something seriously wrong with a nation that chooses serendipity as its favourite word.’
    • ‘Each hymn at the funeral service was chosen because it was a favourite which Mr Ryder would play on his trumpet.’
    • ‘This is an issue of the right of consumers to choose what sort of product they wish to buy.’
    • ‘Do parents think that when they choose a name for their child they are choosing a personality?’
    • ‘Gloria was surprised to have won the award and is still trying to decide what prize to choose.’
    • ‘A selection process will now take place to chose the three who will sit on the committee.’
    • ‘I personally would not have chosen it, but it was his choice to make, not anyone else's.’
    • ‘But the people who have chosen that path probably don't see it as a problem at all.’
    • ‘Neither will they inspire our most talented people to choose a career in politics.’
    • ‘You are not simply choosing a new leader for the party, you are picking the next prime minister.’
    • ‘In the event of a tied election the President is chosen by a vote in the House of Representatives.’
    • ‘Everywhere was so different that it would be difficult to choose my favourite place.’
    • ‘Ilkley Parish Council has chosen its new leader elect for the coming year.’
    • ‘The judges whittled down the entries to nine finalists, and the winner was then chosen by an online vote.’
    • ‘Alternatively, you can just choose a good fund and have the manager do it for you.’
    • ‘Everyone seems to have chosen the person they are supporting for the job.’
    • ‘She was chosen by random selection to take the drug rather than join the observation group.’
    • ‘He says he has no idea why the selectors chose him as the team's captain in the first place.’
    • ‘The first dealer is chosen at random, and thereafter the turn to deal alternates, after each hand.’
    • ‘Our waitress helped us choose all our dishes and we were pleased we took her advice.’
    select, pick, pick out, opt for, plump for, go for, take, settle on, decide on, fix on, come down in favour of, vote for
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    1. 1.1[no object]Decide on a course of action, typically after rejecting alternatives.
      [with infinitive] ‘he chose to go’
      ‘I'll stay as long as I choose’
      • ‘He wasn't a golfer himself and he often wondered why he had chosen to live in the middle of a golf course.’
      • ‘He chose not to attend the Open championship, not wishing to distract his players.’
      • ‘They were simply pleased that the budget airline had chosen to use their local airport.’
      • ‘In the course of this article I have chosen to focus upon ideas of the self and identity.’
      • ‘What was even more pleasing, was the number of those pictured who chose to give themselves up.’
      • ‘The defendants could have taken the course of proving it if they wished, but they have chosen not to.’
      • ‘It does of course but she chooses to blot it out as if by doing that it doesn't really happen.’
      • ‘So, anyway the beauty is of course that I am voluntarily choosing to do this to myself.’
      • ‘Of course, we also might never know whether any company chooses to leave Scotland because of high rates.’
      • ‘When we are selfish, we are choosing to place our desires above those of other people.’
      • ‘Nations have always been able to choose to what degree they wish to open up to globalisation.’
      • ‘This option is of course not available if you have chosen not to join the new London General Pension Fund.’
      • ‘If only one defender wishes to play then he can choose to invite his partner to defend with him.’
      • ‘To say we could have done otherwise implies only that we would have done otherwise if we had decided or chosen to.’
      • ‘Feel free to choose more or less as you see fit, but please explain why you picked them.’
      • ‘He or she may decide afterwards that the marriage cannot work, and choose to leave it.’
      • ‘When a government is elected on the basis of a manifesto which it then chooses to ignore, what is the point of voting?’
      • ‘The scheme was designed to be open plan, although some residents have chosen to have small garden fences.’
      • ‘That was a course that was open to them; that was a course they chose not to take.’
      • ‘Sometimes I wish I had chosen to be one of those who mend lives but it is too late for regrets.’
      wish, want, desire, prefer, be inclined, feel inclined, please, like, see fit
      View synonyms


  • cannot choose but do something

    • formal Have no alternative to doing something.

      • ‘He felt it absolutely necessary to demonstrate the shaky foundations on which materialism stood because he felt that ‘when this cornerstone is once removed, the whole fabric (of atheism and irreligion) cannot choose but to fall to the ground…’’
      • ‘But now in the meantime, I cannot choose but perform these honest duties to you, to whom I have been so deeply bounden.’
      • ‘God has accepted the wager, contending: ‘While man's desires and aspirations stir, he cannot choose but err; yet in his erring journey through the night, instinctively he travels toward the light.’’
      • ‘Knowing man cannot choose but pay, how have we cheapened paradise?’
      • ‘To atone for this departure from the vows of the scholar and his eternal duties, to this secular charity, we have at least this gain, that here is a message which those to whom it was addressed cannot choose but hear.’
      • ‘As a corollary to the proposition that all institutions must be subordinated to the law of equal freedom, we cannot choose but admit the right of the citizen to adopt a condition of voluntary outlawry.’
      • ‘I can see all the ugliness and all the misery of my city, and though my heart is made of lead yet I cannot choose but weep.’
      • ‘A woman enchained cannot choose but give a measure of that bondage to her sons and daughters.’
      • ‘The result being that angels can't choose but simply obey and serve and therefore can't have a gospel for themselves.’
      • ‘When people talk of the freedom of writing, speaking, or thinking, I cannot choose but laugh.’
  • there is little (or nothing) to choose between

    • There is little or no difference between.

      • ‘Likewise, he found little to choose between the outside world, which he regarded as a landscape of desolation, and his family, which he called, among less pejorative names, a quagmire.’
      • ‘People may find there is little or nothing to choose between parties because they have similar policies and tax plans.’
      • ‘How do you make these decisions, these simple decisions, when there's nothing to choose between them?’
      • ‘For much of a very dull first half there had been nothing to choose between the sides.’
      • ‘Betting on the outcome of matches is a precarious business and, with precious little to choose between these two horses, this is a race for watching only although Swallow Flight gets the call in my book.’
      • ‘And the outcome of their 1998-99 head-to-head suggests that there will be little to choose between two sides who met at the same stage of the competition last year.’
      • ‘What this presidential race has shown is precisely the danger of not participating in an election even when there seemed, on the face of it, to be little to choose between the candidates.’
      • ‘When there's little to choose between individual candidates, the importance of the presentation - and the presenter - becomes paramount.’
      • ‘But with almost nothing to choose between the parties, could the common-sense spectrum get any narrower?’
      • ‘Does that mean there's nothing to choose between different kinds of agriculture when it comes to sustainable planetary welfare?’


Old English cēosan, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch kiezen.