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

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

Cuba, Guyana, Puerto Rico and Uruguay permit early-term elective abortions, as does Mexico City. Fox News, "Argentina Senate rejects bill legalizing elective abortions," 9 Aug. 2018 Researchers tracked 6,362 women—elective egg-freezers and onco-fertility patients—and their road to motherhood. Laura Regensdorf, Vogue, "At 35, I Went to a Millennial Egg-Freezing Clinic—and Now I’m Rethinking My Future," 12 Nov. 2018 The governor is expected to sign the bill this week to allow Kansas students to get math and science credit for taking computer science, instead of treating it as an elective as schools now do. Elizabeth Weise, USA TODAY, "Amazon second headquarters contest jumpstarts languishing transit, education projects," 29 June 2018 Advanced photography can be selected as an elective and is always in high demand, Turner said. Kayla Fitzgerald, sacbee, "Advanced photography class at Sutter Middle School yields creative outlet, awards," 13 June 2018 The industry, bless its greedy little heart, generally views hearing aids as elective, not medically necessary. David Lazarus, latimes.com, "Say what? How an $800 charge for hearing aids soared to a $3,600 healthcare bill," 29 May 2018 Claims examiners continue to display ignorance, with just 10 percent agreeing to training that was only elective, the GAO report found last year. Bill Lambrecht, Houston Chronicle, "Veterans Affairs chief’s firing hurt vets’ medical effort," 13 May 2018 Claims examiners continue to display ignorance, with just 10 percent agreeing to training that was only elective, the GAO report found last year. Bill Lambrecht, Houston Chronicle, "Veterans Affairs chief’s firing hurt vets’ medical effort," 13 May 2018 Claims examiners continue to display ignorance, with just 10 percent agreeing to training that was only elective, the GAO report found last year. Bill Lambrecht, San Antonio Express-News, "Gulf War Illness," 12 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Stanford University is offering one of its most popular business-school electives to people outside its elite M.B.A. program. Kelsey Gee, WSJ, "Stanford Pushes Executives to Get ‘Touchy Feely’," 1 May 2019 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

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

4 Jun 2019

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

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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More from Merriam-Webster on elective

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with elective

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for elective

Spanish Central: Translation of elective

Nglish: Translation of elective for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of elective for Arabic Speakers

Comments on elective

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