elective

adjective
elec·​tive | \ i-ˈlek-tiv How to pronounce elective (audio) \

Definition of elective

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : 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
2a : 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
3a : tending to operate on one substance rather than another elective absorption
b : favorably inclined to one more than to another : sympathetic an elective affinity

elective

noun

Definition of elective (Entry 2 of 2)

: an elective course or subject

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from elective

Adjective

electively adverb
electiveness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for elective

Synonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Adjective

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Demand is higher than normal because so many elective surgeries were postponed during the pandemic and are being done now, Paltzer said. Gloria Casas, chicagotribune.com, 9 July 2021 The margins in 2020 were bolstered by a decline in volume of elective surgeries due to the pandemic, resulting in lower medical costs for the health insurance companies. Trefis Team, Forbes, 7 July 2021 There’s a severe blood shortage in the United States due to a recent surge in trauma cases, organ transplants and elective surgeries, the American Red Cross says. Healthday News, San Diego Union-Tribune, 29 June 2021 Forbes said a perfect storm of events transpired: Over the past few months, hospitals have seen a rise in trauma cases, organ transplants and elective surgeries. Cindy Krischer Goodman, sun-sentinel.com, 25 June 2021 If the shortage continues, elective surgeries may be canceled. Dr. Natalie S. Rosen, ABC News, 20 June 2021 During 2020, as the pandemic compelled us to shelter in place, Americans avoided doctor’s appointments and postponed elective surgeries. Robert Galvin, Fortune, 1 June 2021 Similarly, medical offices began deferring elective services and limiting their office hours and even staff. Jaime Nguyen, STAT, 3 July 2021 That led to major protests, with dissident lawmakers standing with the demonstrators and calling for the nation to move to a system with an elective prime minister. John Eligon, New York Times, 2 July 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The class was later reinstated, but, according to USA Today, is now an elective. Esther Wang, The New Republic, 14 July 2021 To develop the course with student input, the faculty introduced it as an elective in the spring 2021 semester with Professors Diana Hassel, Nadiyah Humber, and Nicole Dyszlewski. BostonGlobe.com, 28 June 2021 Audubon has much to offer, Hardemion said, including an elective in music production, where students craft their own beats and songs. Los Angeles Times, 15 June 2021 The current official use of the lottery seems biased toward the elective — toward the nice — by historical standards. Matt Pearce, Los Angeles Times, 5 June 2021 Now, the Grande Narrative cofounders are drafting recommendations for a new African American studies course that the state education board approved in April as an elective for high school students. BostonGlobe.com, 29 May 2021 The bill, introduced earlier this year by Democratic Rep. Jeremy Gray, allows K-12 students enrolled in public school to take yoga instruction as an elective. Ray Sanchez And Leah Asmelash, CNN, 22 May 2021 The bill to allow yoga to be offered as an elective is by Rep. Jeremy Gray, D-Opelika. Mike Cason | Mcason@al.com, al, 17 May 2021 The bill, introduced earlier this year by Rep. Jeremy Gray, would remove the ban on yoga, allowing K-12 students enrolled in public school to take the class as an elective. Leah Asmelash, CNN, 2 Apr. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'elective.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of elective

Adjective

circa 1531, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Noun

1850, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About elective

Time Traveler for elective

Time Traveler

The first known use of elective was circa 1531

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near elective

elections clause

elective

elector

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for elective

Last Updated

22 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Elective.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/elective. Accessed 30 Jul. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for elective

elective

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of elective

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: held by a person who is elected
: not medically necessary
chiefly US : not required in a particular course of study

elective

noun

English Language Learners Definition of elective (Entry 2 of 2)

US : a class that is not required in a particular course of study

elective

adjective
elec·​tive | \ i-ˈlek-tiv How to pronounce elective (audio) \

Kids Definition of elective

: chosen or filled by election an elective official an elective position

elective

adjective
elec·​tive | \ i-ˈlek-tiv How to pronounce elective (audio) \

Medical Definition of elective

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

Keep scrolling for more

elective

adjective
elec·​tive

Legal Definition of elective

1a : 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
2a : 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

Nglish: Translation of elective for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of elective for Arabic Speakers

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Dog Words Quiz

  • shiba puppy more or less demanding cuddles
  • Which of the following animals has a dog in its etymology?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!