I am looking for a single word to express "ability to make choices"

After some searching on the net, I found the word "choice-making." However, since I could not find this word on Merriam Webster and Cambridge dictionaries, I am a bit unsure about its application.

I am going to use this word as the title of a section in my academic report. Can I use choice-making to mean ability to make choices?"

Do you have any other suggestions? I don't want to use the word decision-making.

  • 1
    What about “decide:” - to choose something, especially after thinking carefully about several possibilities
    – user 66974
    Jan 11, 2021 at 7:26
  • 2
    Freedom to Choose?
    – Xanne
    Jan 11, 2021 at 7:55
  • 1
    The Exercise of Agency. The Challenge of Choosing. The Demands of the Decision.
    – Xanne
    Jan 11, 2021 at 7:58
  • 1
    Picking Among the Litter. Purposeful Picking. Picking and Choosing. When to Hold and When to Fold. When Enough is Enough.
    – Xanne
    Jan 11, 2021 at 8:02
  • 2
    Or "decisiveness" for the noun. But "ability to make choices" could mean either being decisive, i.e. being able to make choices in a timely and effective fashion, or it could refer to something more general i.e. being able to make choices at all (without endless indecision or procrastination). As for "choice-making" it would work as an adjective (in the latter sense I just said), but less well as a noun. The question should say whether you want an adjective or a noun, and ideally provide more information.
    – Stuart F
    Jan 11, 2021 at 12:34

2 Answers 2


I want to really thank everyone for the awesome suggestions.

I finally found the word I was looking for: Volition (noun)

According to the Cambridge dictionary, it means "the power to make your own decisions"

e.g., His poor mother was without her own volition.


Without further background:

“Authority/Authorization” (the power or right to give orders or make decisions) seems to fit.

“Sanction” (confirm by formal or explicit approval) might also work.

“Agency” (the state of being in action or exerting power to produce an effect or achieve an end). If you have agency, you have the ability to make a choice to achieve a certain end.

Or “Determination” (the act of making your mind about something) might be molded to your needs if you were considering decision-making.

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