elective

1 of 2

adjective

elec·​tive i-ˈlek-tiv How to pronounce elective (audio)
1
a
: chosen or filled by popular election
an elective official
b
: of or relating to election
c
: based on the right or principle of election
the presidency is an elective office
2
a
: permitting a choice : optional
an elective course in school
b(1)
: relating to, being, or involving a nonemergency medical procedure and especially surgery that is planned in advance and is not essential to the survival of the patient
elective hip surgery
elective tonsillectomy
elective cosmetic procedures
(2)
: offering or specializing in nonemergency medical procedures and especially surgery
an elective surgical unit
(3)
: relating to or being a patient receiving a nonemergency medical procedure
elective orthopedic patients
3
a
: tending to operate on one substance rather than another
elective absorption
b
: favorably inclined to one more than to another : sympathetic
an elective affinity
electively adverb
electiveness noun

elective

2 of 2

noun

: an elective course or subject

Examples of elective in a Sentence

Adjective He's never held an elective office. Plastic surgery is elective surgery. She took three elective courses last term. Noun She's taking several electives this year.
Recent Examples on the Web
Adjective
Her early forays into elective politics failed because the one-time anti-war, Green Party member who backed insurgent presidential candidate Ralph Nader was seen as too liberal. Ronald J. Hansen, The Arizona Republic, 5 Mar. 2024 Kendrick feels that these topics should be reserved to students in high school enrolled in AP/Honors courses or seeking inquisitive elective credits to add to their transcript. Charlotte Observer, 8 Feb. 2024 My grandmother’s notion of independence is one thrust onto her as an immigrant and a widow, not an elective independence like mine. Kristina Kasparian, Longreads, 6 Feb. 2024 Some call this dynamic conscious co-parenting or elective co-parenting. Allison Hope, Parents, 4 Feb. 2024 Nationally, there’s pressure to pass such state mandates because health plans often don’t cover hearing aids for kids, calling them elective or cosmetic. Kff Health News, Orange County Register, 31 Jan. 2024 Many are in Miami area FIU-Baptist partnership gives students first dibs on training FIU students will have priority over students from other medical schools for spots in required and elective clinical rotations at Baptist Health facilities. Michelle Marchante, Miami Herald, 25 Jan. 2024 In Wisconsin, those include judges, county executives and supervisors, school board members, and elective town, village and city offices. Journal Sentinel, 25 Jan. 2024 While Parson touted the state as having zero elective abortions, the ban has led Missourians to travel to other states where the procedure remains legal, such as Kansas and Illinois. Jonathan Shorman, Kansas City Star, 24 Jan. 2024
Noun
Metal madness is a science elective for high schoolers. The Enquirer, 23 Feb. 2024 Students take electives like physical education, choir, band, art and a technology class that focuses on 3D manufacturing and augmented reality. The Arizona Republic, 28 Jan. 2024 Initially his major was Communications but after taking a winter elective in winemaking, his time in Comms ended. Noël Burgess, Forbes, 1 Mar. 2024 The student and lifelong writer holds a bachelor’s degree in English and hopes to teach literature, essay writing, and possibly a creative writing elective. Thomas Goodwin Smith, Baltimore Sun, 14 Feb. 2024 The financial literacy class can be taken as an elective or as a substitute for a half unit of mathematics. Jessie Balmert, The Enquirer, 8 Feb. 2024 Unique electives provide skillsets such as the designs of characters for gaming and cutting-edge technologies (3-D printing and laser-cutting techniques). Cathy Whitlock, The Hollywood Reporter, 24 Feb. 2024 Another elective will explore Cincinnati-specific history. The Enquirer, 23 Feb. 2024 For these characters, the study of English isn’t merely an elective chosen to broaden their knowledge of the world or enhance an upcoming trip. Charles McNulty, Los Angeles Times, 7 Feb. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'elective.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

Adjective

circa 1531, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Noun

1850, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of elective was circa 1531

Dictionary Entries Near elective

Cite this Entry

“Elective.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/elective. Accessed 23 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

elective

1 of 2 adjective
elec·​tive i-ˈlek-tiv How to pronounce elective (audio)
1
: chosen by election
an elective official
2
: held by a person who is elected
the presidency is an elective office
3
: followed or taken by choice : not required
an elective subject in school
electively adverb
electiveness noun

elective

2 of 2 noun
: an elective course or subject in school

Medical Definition

elective

adjective
elec·​tive i-ˈlek-tiv How to pronounce elective (audio)
1
: relating to, being, or involving a nonemergency medical procedure and especially surgery that is planned in advance and is not essential to the survival of the patient
elective knee surgery
elective tonsillectomy
2
: offering or specializing in nonemergency medical procedures and especially surgery
elective surgical units
3
: relating to or being a patient receiving a nonemergency medical procedure
an elective orthopedic patient

Legal Definition

elective

adjective
elec·​tive
1
a
: chosen by popular election
an elective official
b
: of or relating to election
c
: based on the right or principle of election
the presidency is an elective office
2
a
: permitting a choice compare compulsory
b
: available as a choice
elective insurance coverage
c
: beneficial to the patient but not essential for survival
elective surgery

More from Merriam-Webster on elective

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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