c. 1300, "act of choosing someone to occupy a position, elevation to office" (whether by one person or a body of electors); also "the holding of a vote by a body of electors; the time and place of such a vote," from Anglo-French eleccioun, Old French elecion "choice, election, selection" (12c.), from Latin electionem (nominative electio), noun of action from past participle stem of eligere "pick out, select," from ex- "out" (see ex-) + -ligere, comb. form of legere "to choose, read" (see lecture (n.)). Theological sense "God's choice of someone" for eternal life is from late 14c. Meaning "act of choosing, choice" is from c. 1400.