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.

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

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. 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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