What is the correct word for a fixed list of choices?

Something that appears in a select box in a computer application or as titles around a knob on a device. Like, music genre list in iTunes or equalizer presets on a guitar combo.

These are lists that would be held in a single-column database table. I would like to have an encompassing word for all such tables.

  • Is it codebook? There is no encoding taking place.
  • dial? Too much resembling an actual piece of hardware.
  • lookup table may sound good, but there is no lookup. It is just a list of choices.

What word do software/database architects use to describe those? What is the label of a menu item in an administrative interface of an information system?

2 Answers 2


When writing such code I refer to the displayed list as the menu (a term that you used in your question), and to the items within the list as options. Whether the options are selected from a menu displayed as static list, a dropbox list or as radiobuttons is of secondary interest.


The general term is multiple choice.

As for a word that covers this in user interface design, I've come across the term drop box and list box.

I'm sure that there are others as designers have a way of representing the same functionality in a myriad kind of ways, and each with its own name.

For example, a checkbox.

  • To me, “drop box” and “list box” sound more as the user interface element than the values presented by them.
    – Glutexo
    Sep 3, 2020 at 10:53

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