selective

adjective
se·lec·tive | \sə-ˈlek-tiv \

Definition of selective 

1 : of, relating to, or characterized by selection : selecting or tending to select

2 : highly specific in activity or effect selective pesticides selective absorption

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Other Words from selective

selectively adverb
selectiveness noun
selectivity \sə-ˌlek-ˈti-və-tē, ˌsē- \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for selective

Synonyms

choosy (or choosey), particular, picky

Antonyms

nonselective, unselective

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Examples of selective in a Sentence

The club is selective in choosing members. The college has a highly selective admissions process.

Recent Examples on the Web

Under the bill, ninth-graders would be allowed to enroll at the selective, residential school that currently admits students in grades 10 through 12. Sarah Freishtat, Aurora Beacon-News, "Proposal approved to allow out-of-state students at IMSA," 30 May 2018 Currently middle school students are housed in a section of the high school building, limiting the number of classroom seats available for high school students who want a shot at attending the selective school. Mará Rose Williams, kansascity, "Hoping to enroll your child at Lincoln Prep? Chances are better now | The Kansas City Star," 9 Mar. 2018 Admissions: Highly selective, with an ex-clusive guest list determined by Allen & Company. Christopher Ross, WSJ, "The Top 5 CEO Conferences Catering to the World’s Power Players," 10 July 2018 Some techniques, such as selective breeding, are immediately tractable, inexpensive and effective. Rebecca Albright, Scientific American, "Scientists Are Taking Extreme Steps to Help Corals Survive," 1 Jan. 2018 The missing piece in Mr. Hilsman’s selective history is that after the revolution America used tariffs to protect its developing industries and fund its federal government. WSJ, "Tariffs Helped the U.S. Economy Find Its Legs," 13 July 2018 Why the selective tolerance for murder and genocide that occurs in Gaza, is that perfectly OK, are the child separations acceptable? Courant Community, "Community News For The Stafford Edition," 10 July 2018 Also included are plans for a new building for Hancock High School, a selective enrollment school east of Midway Airport on the Southwest Side. John Byrne, chicagotribune.com, "Emanuel wants to build new Near West Side high school, according to budget plan," 6 July 2018 In May, her family traveled to Missouri where Maya underwent selective dorsal rhizotomy surgery with Dr. T.S. Park, one of the nation’s leading pediatric neurosurgeons and a pioneer of the surgery, according to the family's website. Deasia Paige, Detroit Free Press, "This Michigan girl, 4, with cerebral palsy just took her first steps," 6 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'selective.' 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 selective

1625, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Phrases Related to selective

selective memory

Statistics for selective

Last Updated

21 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for selective

The first known use of selective was in 1625

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More Definitions for selective

selective

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of selective

: careful to choose only the best people or things

: involving the selection of people or things from a group

selective

adjective
se·lec·tive | \sə-ˈlek-tiv \

Kids Definition of selective

: careful to choose or include only the best or most suitable individuals a selective college

selective

adjective
se·lec·tive | \sə-ˈlek-tiv \

Medical Definition of selective 

1 : of, relating to, or characterized by selection : selecting or tending to select

2 : highly specific in activity or effect selective pesticides selective permeability of a plasma membrane

Other Words from selective

selectively adverb

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Comments on selective

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WORD OF THE DAY

to reject or criticize sharply

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