Op"tion (?), n. [L. optio; akin
to optare to choose, wish, optimus best, and perh. to
E. apt: cf. F. option.]
1. The power of choosing; the right of choice
or election; an alternative.
There is an option left to the United States of
America, whether they will be respectable and prosperous, or
contemptible and miserable, as a nation.
2. The exercise of the power of choice;
Transplantation must proceed from the option of
the people, else it sounds like an exile.
3. A wishing; a wish. [Obs.] Bp.
4. (Ch. of Eng.) A right formerly
belonging to an archbishop to select any one dignity or benefice in
the gift of a suffragan bishop consecrated or confirmed by him, for
bestowal by himself when next vacant; -- annulled by Parliament in
5. (Stock Exchange) A stipulated
privilege, given to a party in a time contract, of demanding its
fulfillment on any day within a specified limit.
Buyer's option, an option allowed to one who
contracts to buy stocks at a certain future date and at a certain
price, to demand the delivery of the stock (giving one day's notice)
at any previous time at the market price. -- Seller's
option, an option allowed to one who contracts to
deliver stock art a certain price on a certain future date, to
deliver it (giving one day's notice) at any previous time at the
market price. Such options are privileges for which a consideration
is paid. -- Local option. See under
Syn. -- Choice; preference; selection. -- Option,
Choice. Choice is an act of choosing; option
often means liberty to choose, and implies freedom from constraint in
the act of choosing.