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

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Other Words from elective

Adjective

electively adverb
electiveness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for elective

Synonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Adjective

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective In France, despite limits on elective procedures during the pandemic, cosmetic surgeries are up by nearly 20%, estimates the French Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons. The Economist, "Here’s looking at me Covid-19 is fuelling a Zoom-boom in cosmetic surgery," 11 Apr. 2021 The cancellation of lucrative elective procedures as the hospital pivoted to treat a new and less profitable infectious disease presaged financial distress, if not ruin. Dallas News, "Bailout helped wealthy hospitals post a banner year," 11 Apr. 2021 Several hospitals in Michigan delayed some elective procedures this past week because a wave of coronavirus patients has stressed their resources. BostonGlobe.com, "Michigan’s coronavirus cases are out of control and the governor is calling for personal responsibility," 10 Apr. 2021 Several hospitals in Michigan delayed some elective procedures this past week because a wave of coronavirus patients has stressed their resources. New York Times, "Michigan’s Virus Cases Are Out of Control, Putting Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in a Bind," 10 Apr. 2021 And when Covid-19 forced safety net hospitals to cancel elective procedures and make large purchases of personal protective equipment and other tools to treat patients presenting with the virus, that was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Rita Numerof, Forbes, "What Mercy Hospital’s $1 Sale Says About Safety Nets’ Future," 9 Apr. 2021 Hospitals' profits, for example, were hurt when some state governments temporarily banned moneymaking elective procedures to keep beds available for pandemic patients. NBC News, "CEOs of public U.S. firms earn 320 times as much as workers. Even some CEOS say the gap is too big.," 7 Apr. 2021 So when plastic surgeons and dermatologists got the green light to reopen and resume elective procedures, the demand was off the charts — from former patients and newcomers alike, and across all ages. Kaitlin Clark, Allure, "Plastic Surgeons Predict the Most Popular Procedures for 2021," 26 Mar. 2021 Also coming in: A new wave of post-operative patients whose elective medical and surgical procedures were postponed because of the pandemic. Megan Cerullo, CBS News, "Working from home is breaking our bodies, physical therapists say," 12 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun 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, "Alabama bill to allow yoga in schools stalls as opponents fear its ties to Hinduism," 2 Apr. 2021 The course is currently offered at both Cherry Hill high schools -- West and East -- only as an elective. Stephanie Fasano, ABC News, "Students fight for Black history courses, a more diverse curriculum in high schools," 8 Feb. 2021 Joshua Hyman was a fourth-year medical student just starting an ultrasound elective in the E.R. New York Times, "Suddenly the Man Couldn’t See. Was His Chest Pain Connected?," 4 Feb. 2021 Students could register for one pass-fail course — an elective — this semester, according to university policy. Washington Post, "Students lobby their schools to implement pass-fail grading as another challenging semester nears end," 4 Nov. 2020 Jones was asked about his early years of modeling, taking Mandarin as an elective in school, the origin of his Joker nickname and the competitiveness of the quarterback room. Mark Heim | Mheim@al.com, al, "Alabama’s Mac Jones on modeling, Mandarin and what Tua Tagovailoa taught him," 17 Oct. 2020 Her interest in Spanish language and culture started in middle school as an elective. John Ewoldt, Star Tribune, "Mandy Marek, Spanish teacher who carved new paths for Hispanic students, dies at 37," 26 Aug. 2020 One of the electives, called the International Experience, had students going to one of six places, including China, Japan and South Africa, Williams said. Janet Lorin, Bloomberg.com, "Yale, Stanford Cut Business School Travel as Virus Spreads," 8 May 2020 The high school has had to cut so many electives that many seniors leave school early because there are no classes for them. Moriah Balingit, Washington Post, "Democrats are moving on from charter schools. Who will they leave behind?," 14 Dec. 2019

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.

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First Known Use of elective

Adjective

circa 1531, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Noun

1850, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for elective

Time Traveler

The first known use of elective was circa 1531

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Statistics for elective

Last Updated

17 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Elective.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/elective. Accessed 21 Apr. 2021.

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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

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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

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Comments on elective

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