Definition of option in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈäpSH(ə)n/


1A thing that is or may be chosen: choose the cheapest options for supplying energy
More example sentences
  • Most of the time will be spent on the chosen option but each participant will get some experience of the other areas.
  • Mr Daley says apart from the high costs involved, the layout of the building meant the work, which would include widening corridors, was not a practical option.
  • A grape vine needs five years to come into commercial production, so leasing is not a practical option.
power to choose, right to choose
1.1 [in singular] The freedom, power, or right to choose something: she was given the option of resigning or being dismissed he has no option but to pay up
More example sentences
  • The drivers were given the option of taking a route of their own choice between Grafton and the Gold Coast.
  • When people were given the option of not having their name listed, many demurred, and the list became incomplete and not very useful.
  • I have asked many married couples I know whether they would, if given the option, trade in their marriages for a civil union.
1.2A right to buy or sell a particular thing at a specified price within a set time: Columbia Pictures has an option on the script [with infinitive]: an option to buy the land
More example sentences
  • This relief does not apply if the shareholders in the target company retain an option to sell their shares to another company.
  • In technical terms, the new chief executive is entitled to be granted an option to buy ordinary shares.
  • This involves buying and selling futures or options on shares, bonds or currencies.
2 American Football An offensive play in which the ball carrier has the option to run, pass, hand off, or lateral.


[with object]
1Buy or sell an option on (something): his second script will have been optioned by the time you read this
More example sentences
  • Their books are selling overseas, being optioned for movies and TV shows.
  • Wendy Morton may be a poet, but she should considering optioning her life story.
  • Hirsh has optioned William Weintraub's City Unique: Montreal Days and Nights in the 1940s and '50s.
1.1 Sports US Transfer a player (to a minor league team) with an option to recall him.
Example sentences
  • San Diego acquired third baseman Joe Randa from Cincinnati for two minor league pitchers and optioned struggling third baseman Sean Burroughs to Triple-A Portland.
  • Because he can't be optioned, the team might be forced to do just that.
  • When the coach of the Admirals tried to persuade him to come to Europe, Warner hesitated, saying he would do so only if an NFL team signed him and optioned him to Europe.



keep (or leave) one's options open

Not commit oneself.
Example sentences
  • I think both have left their options open, but neither knows what to do.
  • He was leaving his options open by acting as if he were going to run.
  • Maybe if you were in a different profession you could, so you leave your options open, which is what I do.

not be an option

Not be feasible: traveling by road is not an option here
More example sentences
  • And, for Kilby, coming second wasn't an option.
  • Killing the guy sitting next to him wasn't an option.
  • But when the blizzard hit, that suddenly wasn't an option anymore.


Mid 16th century: from French, or from Latin optio(n-), from the stem of optare 'choose'. The verb dates from the 1930s.

  • This goes back to Latin optare ‘choose’. Keep your options open is only recorded from the 1960s. You choose a specific child to adopt (Late Middle English) and this comes from the related word adopatare ‘choose for yourself’.

Words that rhyme with option


For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: op·tion

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