1. The act of selecting something: looked at the pears and made a careful selection.
2. One that is selected, such as a literary or musical text chosen for reading or performance: For her last selection she sang an old favorite.
a. A carefully chosen or representative collection of people or things: a book containing a selection of the author's best work.
b. A range of things from which one can make a choice: a store with a wide selection of magazines. See Synonyms at choice.
4. Biology A natural or artificial process that involves the survival and reproduction of some kinds of organisms instead of others (because they have traits that are better adapted to the environment or that are preferred by a breeder, for example) and results in changes in the traits of a population or species.
se·lection·al (-shə-nəl) adj.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.