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Choice vs Option vs Alternative vs Preference vs Selection vs Election

Choice, option, alternative, preference, selectionelection 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).

Option stresses a specifically given right or power to choose one from among two or more mutually exclusive actions or courses of action.

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 <acquire an option on a tract of land).

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 or by unconquerable personal aversion or by logical necessity.

Alternative, however, is sometimes used of more than two possible choices.

Preference emphasizes the guidance of one’s choice by one’s bias or predilections or by one’s judgment of values or of desirability.

Selection implies a wide range of choice and the need of discrimination or taste in choosing.

Election adds to selection the implication of an end or purpose which necessitates the exercise of judgment.