Definition of selection in English:



  • 1The action or fact of carefully choosing someone or something as being the best or most suitable.

    ‘such men decided the selection of candidates’
    ‘they objected to his selection’
    • ‘Recommendations for risk reduction included a careful selection of an evaluation of safe medical devices.’
    • ‘It was a first-class test of analysis, selection and integration which demonstrated a student's ability to think clearly before making a judgment.’
    • ‘It is different this year in that a lot of team selection is fact.’
    • ‘Much of the progress in crop improvement over the past century is a direct result of careful site selection for testing.’
    • ‘The evidence further suggests that careful selection of the potential candidates is crucial.’
    • ‘This is, of course, not by chance, but part of a careful selection of vocabulary and symbols created to contest the existential dilemma.’
    • ‘Rules and procedures relating to selection of candidates were implemented and observed fully by members of the Election Task Force of the Green Party.’
    • ‘Standard procedures for candidate selection and nomination often have to be adapted to local conditions.’
    • ‘In a genuine academic debate over selection of facts and their interpretation, people should be graceful enough to accept their folly, if and when it is exposed.’
    • ‘The careful selection of color and pattern allows for individual expression.’
    1. 1.1 A number of carefully chosen things.
      ‘the publication of a selection of his poems’
      • ‘The selections are arranged by themes and localities.’
      • ‘As the editorial note acknowledges, the interviews are only a selection from those originally gathered.’
      • ‘The orchestra was finishing a selection by Grieg.’
      • ‘The concert was organised by staff and pupils at Woodhouse Grove School and the school's choir and orchestra performed a selection of music with Bradford Cathedral Choir.’
      • ‘The second surprise comes in the chosen selections.’
      • ‘Meals can be ordered by arranged sets from the menu or selections can be specially arranged from the large assortment of Japanese dishes available.’
      • ‘Lowden MacCartney, the editor of an early selection of his poems, gave a vivid description of him.’
      • ‘The book is a selection of poems on a variety of themes - nature, magic, human identity, love and home.’
      • ‘Each poet receives a critical and biographical appraisal and analysis, which is usually followed by a selection of their poems.’
      • ‘The evening began with a selection of poems and songs from the junior classes and an in-school quiz.’
      • ‘If you fancy a change from the sea theme, there are selections of poems from a number of poets with local connections of one sort or another.’
      • ‘The evening's programme will also feature an 18-member Youth Orchestra playing selections from Broadway favourites.’
      • ‘To help our readers get in where they fit in, we've chosen nonfiction selections that look both back to our past, and forward to our future.’
      • ‘Dimitrova translated a selection of John Donne poems in 1999.’
      • ‘This text is followed by a selection of translated poems and a glossary of terms.’
      • ‘The launch of the book honouring the life and work of James McKenna also coincided with the launch of a selection of poems on CD by Desmond Egan.’
      • ‘Gilmore's standing, in short, could be helped by a fresh selection of her poems.’
      • ‘Perhaps, in the light of such a careful selection of material, editing was not necessary.’
      • ‘Like so many of the other selections, this unfamiliar arrangement allows us to hear the timeless words and their meaning afresh.’
      • ‘Fans who turn out for the premiere will be treated to the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra playing selections from John Williams' scores for the Star Wars movies.’
      anthology, assortment, choice, miscellany, medley, pot-pourri, collection, assemblage
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    2. 1.2 A range of things from which a choice may be made.
      ‘the restaurant offers a wide selection of hot and cold dishes’
      • ‘By varying the components of the gel, Mentor is able to produce a wide selection of products ranging from a very soft to a very firm consistency.’
      • ‘Also on offer was a wide selection of coffee and tea.’
      • ‘Because of his various vineyard holdings throughout the south of France, Chapoutier is able to offer a wide selection of wines at all price levels.’
      • ‘A wide selection of hot or non-peppery dishes are available, such as the savoury sour peeled shrimp and crispy rice.’
      • ‘The pedestrianised town centre offers a wide selection of household names and specialist retailers.’
      • ‘Even with a reduced number of stalls, visitors were offered a varied selection of goods, ranging from walking sticks to photograph albums, and candyfloss to doughnuts.’
      • ‘The menu offers a wide selection of tapas, a few takes on paella and a couple of steak-and-pasta dishes, presumably for boyfriends more used to wings.’
      • ‘The menu offers a wide selection of fish and seafood, as well as vegetarian dishes and, if that's not tempting enough, a blackboard lists the day's specials.’
      • ‘The menu is extensive, offering a wide selection of fish dishes, lamb, beef and duck.’
      • ‘It is considered to be one of the world's most beautiful capitals, offering visitors a wide selection of sightseeing and outdoor-leisure options.’
      • ‘The menu has a wide selection on offer, with everything from children's meals and snacks to comfort food and fresh seafood and game cooked with a contemporary twist.’
      • ‘The menu offers a wide selection of French dishes, such as the French Onion Soup Au Gratin and Chicken Bordelaise Au Grand Marnier.’
      • ‘One of the good things about investing is that there is a wide selection of options, some of which do not require you to have a large amount of cash.’
      • ‘There are also several hospitals with world-class facilities managed by hospitals based abroad and bookstores with a broad selection of publications.’
      • ‘The result is recipes that offer a wider selection of foods, including a range of indulgent puddings, but still enable you to eat healthily and lose weight.’
      • ‘Even though Papa Ron's Pizza offers a wide selection of toppings, anchovies are not an option.’
      • ‘‘You need a good selection for a wide range of suitable purposes,’ he said.’
      • ‘Their company offers a wide selection of tiles and a number of related services.’
      • ‘The menu offered a wide selection of large and small snacks.’
      • ‘A wide selection of vegetables ranges from the familiar to the less so.’
      choice, pick, option, preference, election
      range, array, diversity, display, variety, assortment, mixture, line-up, set, repertoire
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    3. 1.3 A horse or horses tipped as worth bets in a race or meeting.
      • ‘The selection, who didn't enjoy the run of the race, finished like a train to get within three parts of a length of the brilliant Godolphin horse Fantastic Light.’
      • ‘Distinctive Dream is the selection in the feature race at Ripon, the £10,000 Tote Trifecta Sprint Handicap.’
      • ‘Previously, the selection won a conditions race very easily over three miles at Gowran Park and dropping down four furlongs in trip and going left-handed are in his favour.’
      • ‘With 7 tipsters for 8 races they would regularly average between 7 and 12 winning selections.’
    4. 1.4 Data highlighted on a computer screen for a particular operation.
      ‘your selection may not contain two different data types’
      • ‘When I return to the main category menu, the previous selection should stay highlighted, making it easier to select the next video profile.’
      • ‘As you move your mouse over the drop down menu, each selection is highlighted.’
      • ‘Expand the selection 4 pixels and make the selection a work path.’
  • 2Biology
    A process in which environmental or genetic influences determine which types of organism thrive better than others, regarded as a factor in evolution.

    • ‘The fixation of weakly selected mutations can be greatly influenced by strong directional selection at linked loci.’
    • ‘If so, we might expect that relaxation of purifying selection has not occurred.’
    • ‘Positive directional selection was detected for most of the internal branches harboring an accelerated rate of evolution.’
    • ‘We found evidence for purifying selection acting to constrain functional divergence between paralogous genes.’
    • ‘A positive coefficient indicates that directional selection is acting to increase that trait.’


Early 17th century: from Latin selectio(n-), from seligere ‘select by separating off’ (see select).