OPTION (Lat. optio, choice, choosing, optare, to choose), the action of choosing or thing chosen, choice or power or opportunity of making a choice. The word had a particular meaning in ecclesiastical law, where it was used of a right claimed by an archbishop to select one benefice from the diocese of a newly appointed bishop, the next presentation to which would fall to his, the archbishop's, patronage. This right was abolished by various statutes in the early part of the 19th century. As a term in stock-exchange operations, "option" is used to express the privilege given to conclude a bargain at some future time at an agreed-upon price (see Call and Stock Exchange). The phrase "local option" has been specifically used in politics of the power given to the electorate of a particular district to choose whether licences for the sale of intoxicating liquor should be granted or not. This form of "local option" has been also and more rightly termed "local veto" (see Liquor Laws).
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