Say for example you have colours to choose from A: red B: yellow C: orange which really doesn't matter, i.e. they play no important roles in your decision, not gaining or losing over one another or they are of equal weights. That I want to call them "options".

Now if you are given some other things to choose from, e.g. A: New car B: Travel package C: $30000 which obviously are not of equal weight and choosing between them involve calculating gain/loss, etc. What would you call them? Do you simply call them "choices"?

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    Does a dog have the Buddha nature? Much of the field of economics discusses choices and a very serious (and currently hot) branch of mathematics is about equatable processes for choosing, voting, and selecting. Despite the relatively high-precision in mathematics, I have never seen a distinction in any field between "option" and "choice" that connoted triviality, a hierarchy, a weighting system, or anything similar. If there are two words that describe the states you are looking for, I do not believe those words are choice and option. Commented Feb 5, 2015 at 5:33
  • @HunterHogan Ok I get you. What if I throw in another word 'selection'? Do you think they differ in anyway? Commented Feb 5, 2015 at 23:37
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    In my experience, no. There are likely some differences between choice, option, and selection, but I have not seen any terms that differ in the manner you seek. An adjective, such as @bagheera's "trivial", would likely achieve your goal. For adjectives, you can find a rich lexicon in economics, such as "price equilibrium" to describe something similar to your "options"; math has the "fair cake-cutting" problem--analogous to your "choices." Just because I don't know of words that describe what you are looking for, that does not mean you won't find them if you read about those two ideas. GL! Commented Feb 6, 2015 at 0:04
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    Would you opt for an option (rooted in desire), choose a choice (rooted in taste), or select a selection (rooted in gathering)? Selecting one of the three words does not depend on the value of the options you choose from. Choosing one of the three words does not depend on the value of the options you select from. Opting for one of the three words does not depend on the value of the choices you select from.
    – ScotM
    Commented Feb 7, 2015 at 6:20

3 Answers 3


alternatives: of two things, propositions, or courses or more mutually exclusive so that if one is chosen the others must be rejected.



Rather than changing the word, consider using 'trivial choices' for the first set and simply 'choices' for the second set.

  • So do you think "options" and "choices" mean different things? Commented Feb 4, 2015 at 8:55
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    A 'choice' carries more of the connotation of 'personal preference'. Commented Feb 4, 2015 at 9:02
  • @user1589188 they are synonymous in many contexts but I think 'trivial choice' is common usage compared to 'trivial option'.
    – ottodidakt
    Commented Feb 4, 2015 at 9:18

An option is something that is presented to you. A choice is something you make. So your colours are options and your unequally tempting rewards are choices.

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