1. The act of choosing; choice: Her option was to quit school and start her own business.
2. The power or freedom to choose: We have the option of driving or taking the train.
a. The right, usually obtained for a fee, to buy or sell an asset within a specified time at a set price.
b. A contract or financial instrument granting such a right: a stock option.
c. The right to make a movie adaptation of a literary work or play: a movie studio that purchased an option on a book.
d. Baseball The right of a major-league team to transfer a player to a minor-league team while being able to recall the player within a specified period.
4. Something chosen or available as a choice. See Synonyms at choice.
5. An item or feature that may be chosen to replace or enhance standard equipment, as in a car.
6. Football An offensive play in which a back, usually the quarterback, decides during the play whether to run with the ball, throw a pass, or make a lateral, depending on the actions of the defense.
tr.v. op·tioned, op·tion·ing, op·tions
1. To acquire or grant an option on: "had optioned for a film several short stories about two policemen" (Barbara Goldsmith).
2. Baseball To transfer (a major-league player) to a minor-league club on option.
[Latin optiō, optiōn-.]
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.