choice


choice
choice n Choice, option, alternative, preference, selection, election are comparable when they mean the act or opportunity of choosing or the thing chosen.
Choice usually implies the right or the privilege to choose freely from a number (as of persons, things, or courses)
{

take your choice of rooms

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{

he had no choice in the determination of his profession

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{

everyone admires his choice, for she is a very attractive young woman

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Option stresses a specifically given right or power to choose one from among two or more mutually exclusive actions or courses of action
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the state constitution gives local option to the cities and towns in the matter of granting or withholding licenses for the sale of intoxicants

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{

the court sentenced the convicted speeder to one month's imprisonment with the option of a fine

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{

the students have no option in the matter of vacations

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In business transactions, an option is usually purchased and enables one to demand during an agreed length of time fulfillment of a contract to sell (as a specified quantity of a commodity) or buy (as a particular parcel of real estate) at a price and on terms agreed upon when drawing the option
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acquire an option on a tract of land

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{

buying and selling options on the stock exchange

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Alternative typically stresses restriction of choice between two mutually exclusive things (as propositions, theories, courses, or policies). Commonly it implies that all other comparable things are ruled out by force of circumstances
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the alternatives before the country were peace with dishonor or war with honor

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or by unconquerable personal aversion
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the only alternative to liberty, in Patrick Henry's estimation, was death

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or by logical necessity
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if the States had any power it was assumed that they had all power and that the necessary alternative was to deny it altogether— Justice Holmes

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Alternative, however, is sometimes used of more than two possible choices. Preference empha-sizes the guidance of one's choice by one's bias or predilections or by one's judgment of values or of desirability
{

he was promised his preference

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{

he said he had no preference and would wait until others had declared their preferences

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Selection implies a wide range of choice and the need of discrimination or taste in choosing
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he was commended for his selection of books

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{

she did not have time for the careful selection of a hat

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Election adds to selection the implication of an end or purpose which necessitates the exercise of judgment
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the students will make their election of courses before returning to college

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{

the doctrine of predestination holds that men are destined to heaven or hell by divine election

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choice adj Choice, exquisite, elegant, recherche, rare, dainty, delicate are comparable when they mean having qualities that appeal to a fine or highly refined taste.
Choice stresses preeminence in quality or kind rather than careful selection of the best, although the latter may also be connoted; consequently, the word usually suggests an appeal to a highly cultivated and discriminating taste
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the choice and master spirits of this age— Shak.

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{

when education in America began, it was intended for the fit and was designed to produce a choice type— Grandgent

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Exquisite implies consummate perfection in workmanship, in choice, in quality, or in impression produced —a perfection so fine and unobtrusive that it attracts only the most sensitive and fastidious
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he paints with exquisite art the charm of the deep country and the lure of the simple life— Buchan

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angels, supporting, saluting, and incensing the Virgin and Child with singular grace and exquisite feeling— Henry Adams

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Elegant differs widely from exquisite; it implies either an impressive richness or grandeur restrained by fine taste, or grace and dignity characterized by a noble simplicity
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whoever wishes to attain an English style . . . elegant but not ostentatious, must give his days and nights to the volumes of Addison— Johnson

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charming to look at and elegant to her fingertips— John Martin

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{

the handsomest man of the company, very elegant in velvet and broadcloth— Cather

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Recherche like the preceding terms implies care in selection; it often suggests a studied exquisiteness or elegance
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the sangfroid, grace, abandon, and recherche nonchalance with which Charles Yates ushers ladies and gentlemen to their seats in the opera house—O. Henry

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{

giving long and recherche dinners— Saintsbury

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Very frequently, however, it implies a search for the novel or fresh as well as the choice, and it may carry a connotation of artificiality or of straining for effect
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the word devastating . . . was thought to be recherche; the discerning reader is likely to call it affected— Beach

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Rare derives from its ordinary senses (see INFREQUENT, THIN) connotations of uncommonness and of a fineness associated with the rarefied air of the upper regions; nevertheless, its major implication is distinction in merit or excellence or a superlative quality
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the rarest cordials old monks ever schemed to coax from pulpy grapes— Lowell

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he [W. H. Hudson] is, of living writers that I read, the rarest spirit— Galsworthy

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Dainty (see also NICE 1) may come close to choice, but is then used chiefly to describe things which give delight to the fastidious taste, especially to the eye, and often also the palate
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her house is elegant and her table daintyJohnson

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More often, however, the term implies smallness and exquisiteness
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those dainty limbs, which Nature lent for gentle usage and soft delicacy— Milton

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the spirit of romance, gross and tawdry in vulgar minds, dainty and refined in the more cultivated— Partington

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Delicate, like dainty, implies exquisiteness and an appeal to a fastidious taste, but it ascribes fineness, subtlety, and often fragility to the thing rather than smallness, and it implies an appeal not only to the eye or palate, but to any of the senses or to the mind or spirit
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the more delicate perfume of the pink-flowering thorn— Wilde

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not, however, an effervescing wine, although its delicate piquancy produced a somewhat similar effect— Hawthorne

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I have, alas! only the words we all use to paint commoner, coarser things, and no means to represent all the exquisite details, all the delicate lights, and shades— Hudson

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an irony so quiet, so delicate, that many readers never notice it is there ... or mistake it for naïveté— Priestle

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Analogous words: preeminent, surpassing, peerless, incomparable, *supreme, superlative: picked, selected, culled, chosen (see CHOOSE)
Antonyms: indifferent (see MEDIUM)
Contrasted words: mediocre, second- rate, middling, fair, average, *medium: *common, ordinary

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms: