choose [chooz] Word Origin verb (used with object), chose; cho·sen or (Obsolete) chose; choos·ing.

  1. to select from a number of possibilities; pick by preference: She chose Sunday for her departure.
  2. to prefer or decide (to do something): He chose to run for election.
  3. to want; desire: I choose moving to the city.
  4. (especially in children’s games) to contend with (an opponent) to decide, as by odd or even, who will do something: I’ll choose you to see who gets to bat first.

verb (used without object), chose; cho·sen or (Obsolete) chose; choos·ing.

  1. to make a choice, or select from two or more possibilities: Accepted by several colleges, the boy chose carefully.
  2. to be inclined: You may stay here, if you choose.
  3. (especially in children’s games) to decide, as by means of odd or even, who will do something: Let’s choose to see who bats first.

Verb Phrases

  1. choose up,
    1. to select (players) for a contest or game: The kids chose up sides for the game.
    2. to select players for a contest or game: We have to choose up before we can play.


  1. cannot choose but, cannot do otherwise than; is or are obliged to: He cannot choose but obey.

Origin of choose before 1000; Middle English chosen, chēsen, Old English cēosan; cognate with Gothic kiusan, Old High German kiosan (German kiesen); akin to Greek geúesthai to enjoy, Latin gustāre to taste (see gusto)Related formschoos·a·ble, adjectivechoos·er, nounpre·choose, verb (used with object), pre·chose, pre·cho·sen, pre·choos··choose, verb, re·chose, re·cho·sen, re·choos·ing.un·choos·a·ble, adjectiveCan be confusedchews chooseSynonym study 1. Choose, select, pick, elect, prefer indicate a decision that one or more possibilities are to be regarded more highly than others. Choose suggests a decision on one of a number of possibilities because of its apparent superiority: to choose a course of action. Select suggests a choice made for fitness: to select the proper golf club. Pick, an informal word, suggests a selection on personal grounds: to pick a winner. The formal word elect suggests a kind of official action: to elect a representative. Prefer, also formal, emphasizes the desire or liking for one thing more than for another or others: to prefer coffee to tea. British Dictionary definitions for choosable choose verb chooses, choosing, chose or chosen

  1. to select (a person, thing, course of action, etc) from a number of alternatives
  2. (tr; takes a clause as object or an infinitive) to consider it desirable or properI don’t choose to read that book
  3. (intr) to like; pleaseyou may stand if you choose
  4. cannot choose but to be obliged towe cannot choose but vote for him
  5. nothing to choose between or little to choose between (of two people or objects) almost equal

Derived Formschooser, nounWord Origin for choose Old English ceosan; related to Old Norse kjōsa, Old High German kiosan Word Origin and History for choosable choose v.

Old English ceosan “choose, seek out, select; decide, test, taste, try; accept, approve” (class II strong verb; past tense ceas, past participle coren), from Proto-Germanic *keus- (cf. Old Frisian kiasa, Old Saxon kiosan, Dutch kiezen, Old High German kiosan, German kiesen, Old Norse kjosa, Gothic kiusan “choose,” Gothic kausjan “to taste, test”), from PIE root *geus- “to taste, relish” (see gusto). Only remotely related to choice. Variant spelling chuse is Middle English, very frequent 16c.-18c. The irregular past participle leveled out to chosen by 1200.

Idioms and Phrases with choosable choose

In addition to the idiom beginning with choose

  • choose up
  • also see:

  • beggars can’t be choosers
  • pick and choose
  • Also see underchoice.

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