American English

Definition of choice noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1[countable] choice (between A and B) an act of choosing between two or more possibilities; something that you can choose women forced to make a choice between family and career We are faced with a difficult choice. We aim to help students make more informed career choices. Resources are finite, and choices have to be made between competing priorities and needs. There is a wide range of choices open to you. Thesaurusoptionchoice alternative possibilityThese are all words for something that you choose to do in a particular situation.option something that you can choose to have or do; the freedom to choose what you do:We are currently studying all the options available. He was given one month's imprisonment without the option of a fine. Option is also the word used in computing for one of the choices you can make when using a computer program:Choose the “Cut” option from the Edit menu.choice the freedom to choose what you do; something that you can choose to have or do:If I had the choice, I would stop working tomorrow. She has a number of choices available to her.alternative something that you can choose to have or do out of two or more possibilities:You can be paid in cash weekly or by check monthly: Those are the two alternatives.option, choice, or alternative?Choice is slightly less formal than option, and alternative is slightly more formal. Choice is most often used for “the freedom to choose,” although you can sometimes also use option (but not usually alternative):If I had the choice/option, I would… If I had the alternative, I would… parental choice in education parental option/alternative in education. Things that you can choose are options, choices, or alternatives. However, alternative is more frequently used to talk about choosing between two things rather than several.possibility one of the different things that you can do in a particular situation:We need to explore a wide range of possibilities. The possibilities are endless. Possibility can be used in a similar way to option, choice, and alternative, but the emphasis here is less on the need to make a choice, and more on what is available.Patterns with/without the option/choice/possibility >of>something a(n) good/acceptable/reasonable/possible option/choice/alternative the only option/choice/alternative/possibility >open to>somebody to have a/an/the option/choice >of doing something> to have no option/choice/alternative >but to>do something a number/range of options/choices/alternatives/possibilities
  2. 2[uncountable, singular] the right to choose or the possibility of choosing If I had the choice, I would stop working tomorrow. He had no choice but to leave (= this was the only thing he could do). She's going to do it. She doesn't have much choice. This government is committed to extending parental choice in education. After a delicious meal with free wine, the choice is yours: a quiet drink in the bar, the late night club or a stroll along the beach beneath a starry sky. Sandy had to tell his tale in halting Italian. Since Franco spoke no English, he had no choice in the matter.
  3. 3[countable] a person or thing that is chosen She's the obvious choice for the job. Hawaii remains a popular choice for winter vacation travel. This color wasn't my first choice. She wouldn't be my choice as manager. I don't like his choice of friends (= the people he chooses as his friends).
  4. 4[singular, uncountable] the number or range of different things from which to choose The menu has a good choice of desserts. There wasn't much choice of color. see also Hobson's choice, multiple-choice
  5. Thesauruschoicefavorite preference selection pickThese are all words for a person or thing that is chosen, or that is liked more than others.choice a person or thing that is chosen:She's the best choice for the job.favorite a person or thing that you like more than the others of the same type:Which one's your favorite?preference a thing that is liked better or best:Would you like Italian or Chinese? I don't have a preference.favorite or preference?Your favorites are the things you like best, and that you have, do, listen to, etc. often; your preferences are the things that you would rather have or do if you have a choice.selection a number of people or things that have been chosen from a larger group:A selection of readers' comments are published below.pick (somewhat informal) a person or thing that is chosen:Who's your pick for best actress this year?Patterns somebody's choice/favorite/pick for something somebody's choice/selection/pick as something an obvious choice/favorite/preference/selection a(n) excellent/good/popular/fine choice/selectionIdioms because you have chosen I wouldn't go there by choice.
    of choice (for somebody/something)
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    (used after a noun) that is chosen by a particular group of people or for a particular purpose It's the software of choice for business use.
    of your choice
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    that you choose yourself First prize will be dinner for two at the restaurant of your choice.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: choice