elective

adjective
elec·​tive | \i-ˈlek-tiv \

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

discretionary, optional, voluntary

Antonyms: Adjective

compulsory, mandatory, nonelective, nonvoluntary, obligatory, required

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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

High schools are limited to 25 students for most non-elective classes. Scott Travis, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Broward school administrators disciplined for 'fraudulent' class size reporting," 2 July 2018 The extra aid goes to public schools that enroll nonpublic students part time in non-core, elective classes such as art, computers, a foreign language, music and physical education. David Eggert, The Seattle Times, "K-12 boost contingent on cutting cyber schools, shared time," 17 Feb. 2018 Two older students in a mixed-age elective class were shot, including one in the head. Mireya Villarreal, CBS News, ""Worst case nightmare": Girl, 12, suspect in shooting at California middle school," 1 Feb. 2018 The matchup has sparked a debate about how much — and even whether — experience matters in politics: Glassman, 59, has had a 30-year career in public life while Hayes is making her first run for elective office. Daniela Altimari, courant.com, "From Public Housing To Running For Congress: African-American Women Find Their Voices In Jahana Hayes," 13 July 2018 Cuba, Guyana and Uruguay permit early-term elective abortions, as does Mexico City. Washington Post, "World Digest: June 14, 2018," 14 June 2018 If the law does make it through, though, Argentina would be by far the most populous country in Latin America to allow elective abortions. Ciara Nugent, Time, "Argentina Has a Historic Vote on Abortion Today. Here's Why That Matters," 13 June 2018 Get our daily newsletter On June 13th the lower house of Argentina’s congress will vote on a bill to legalise elective abortions within the first 14 weeks of gestation. The Economist, "Argentina moves closer to legalising abortion," 9 June 2018 With just 2,200 hospital beds in all of Gaza, health authorities ordered all elective surgeries canceled for the duration of the protests. Hanah Salah, latimes.com, "Israel shoots to wound, not kill. That has led to a wave of amputations in Gaza," 8 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The clinical elective, offered for the last three years, is also intended to reinforce the idea that animals and people share the same environment. Karen Weintraub, New York Times, "Doctor, Your Patient Is Waiting. It’s a Red Panda.," 29 June 2018 Board members voted unanimously this spring to create the high school elective, but split over what to call it, drawing the ire of academics and advocates, some of whom called the name change discrimination. Allie Morris, San Antonio Express-News, "Students, state board of education leaders protest renaming of Mexican-American studies course," 12 June 2018 While every student accepted into the nursing program is held a clinical seat, students who take those specialty electives also have priority for their clinical courses to be in the elective field. Cincinnati.com, "The Christ College of Nursing and Health Sciences Provides Unique Experiences for Career Success," 1 Mar. 2018 The only electives open were Journalism 1-2 and Typing 1-2. Karina Bland, azcentral, "In spite of Annapolis shooting, no other options for journalists," 2 July 2018 Schamis has been teaching at MSD for 17 years and noted that the school's Holocaust studies program has been offered for students as an elective for the past four years. Sergio Carmona, Jewish Journal, "Stoneman Douglas teacher receives Spirit of Anne Frank award," 29 June 2018 Next, Brown took me to see a robotics elective in another sunny room, where a dynamic teacher named James Robertson zigzagged among tables while bright-eyed kids diligently built little machines. Daniel Duane, WIRED, "How the Startup Mentality Failed Kids in San Francisco," 28 June 2018 Studies both at Bucknell and at other universities have shown that this uneven playing field provides a powerful incentive for students to avoid courses (especially electives) in which grades tend to be lower. Tom Solomon, Washington Post, "GPAs don’t really show what students learned. Here’s why.," 15 June 2018 But maybe not so tough that Bridges would have passed up being a top-10 pick to finish off some electives. Rob Mahoney, SI.com, "Breakaway: Inside the Life of Future Lottery Pick Mikal Bridges," 15 June 2018

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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Statistics for elective

Last Updated

24 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for elective

The first known use of elective was circa 1531

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More Definitions for elective

elective

noun

English Language Learners Definition of elective

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

elective

adjective
elec·​tive | \i-ˈlek-tiv \

Kids Definition of elective

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

elective

adjective
elec·​tive | \i-ˈlek-tiv \

Medical Definition of elective 

: beneficial to the patient but not essential for survival elective vascular surgery

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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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