selective

adjective
se·​lec·​tive | \ sə-ˈlek-tiv How to pronounce selective (audio) \

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 How to pronounce selectivity (audio) , 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

Prosecutors say Mark Riddell, 36 years old, helped teens cheat on college-entrance exams by correcting their answers, achieving impressive scores that were then submitted to selective colleges. Jennifer Levitz, WSJ, "Test-Taking Whiz in College Admissions Scandal Pleads Guilty," 12 Apr. 2019 The arrests appear selective and focus on certain figures who continue writing and blogging on social media. Washington Post, "Egypt defends austerity measures amid fears of unrest," 13 June 2018 Then, a slow, selective reintroduction of devices and apps, each one allowed back in the name of productivity and gratifying leisure. Alexander George, Popular Mechanics, "A Computer Scientist's Guide To Dumping the Needless Tech In Your Life," 25 Feb. 2019 Still, the media will have to work hard to flap away the odor of selective prosecution. Holman W. Jenkins, WSJ, "Interpreting the Trump Meteor," 18 Dec. 2018 Campbell's runway appearances have been selective as of late. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Naomi Campbell, Living Legend, Closes the Valentino Couture Show," 23 Jan. 2019 Cities are also not instating an outright ban on scooters — regulators are simply being selective about which companies will operate those scooters. Johana Bhuiyan, Recode, "The bare-knuckle tactics Uber used to get its way with regulators are not going to work for scooter startups," 30 Aug. 2018 Big news for United Airlines travelers who are selective with their seating assignments — the carrier will begin charging fees for reserving select economy seats near the front of the aircraft later this year. Janine Puhak, Fox News, "United Airlines to charge more for economy seats near front of plane," 22 Aug. 2018 The public must not be manipulated by the selective release and withholding of investigative information by the Justice Department. Josh Campbell, Anchorage Daily News, "Americans need to know the truth about McCabe," 19 Mar. 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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Statistics for selective

Last Updated

22 Apr 2019

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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 How to pronounce selective (audio) \

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 How to pronounce selective (audio) \

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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