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

Judge Collins, who was appointed by President Clinton in 1998, rejected a pretrial motion by the defense to dismiss the case on the grounds that Mr. Warren’s arrest amounted to selective enforcement in violation of the Fifth Amendment. Miriam Jordan, New York Times, "An Arizona Teacher Helped Migrants. Jurors Couldn’t Decide if It Was a Crime.," 11 June 2019 Similarly, in Arlene’s Flowers, the owner — Barronelle Stutzman — was able to introduce considerable evidence of selective enforcement. David French, National Review, "The Supreme Court Must Help This Christian Florist," 7 June 2019 Dorsey’s preoccupation with appearing apolitical blinds him, and Twitter writ large, to the fact that inaction and selective enforcement are political acts. Parker Molloy, The Verge, "By not banning Alex Jones, Twitter is making a political choice," 8 Aug. 2018 In her motion, Wakefield said Vann’s actions amounted to selective enforcement based on Carrillo’s Latino ethnicity, violating his 14th Amendment right to be free from discrimination. Joel Rubin, latimes.com, "Judge tosses drug case amid claims that L.A. sheriff’s team targeted Latinos on I-5," 28 June 2019 But her deft footwork around the gun issue, her selective boldness on health care, and her quiet withdrawal on immigration did even more. Matthew Yglesias, Vox, "Elizabeth Warren proved she’s ready for the big show," 27 June 2019 Gilbert spent his younger years at expensive, highly selective East Coast private schools. Sonia Moghe, CNN, "Princeton grad killed father over allowance, prosecutors say. His attorney says he's mentally ill," 27 June 2019 Twitter has long clung to the newsworthy standard despite mounting criticism over the platform’s selective application of content moderation standards. Paris Martineau, WIRED, "Twitter Will Quarantine Politicians’ Tweets If They Violate Rules—Finally," 27 June 2019 The shift began with private schools, according to The College Board, that felt many bright students weren’t able to crack into the top of a small class and were then overlooked by selective colleges. Talia Richman, baltimoresun.com, "Maryland districts join national trend in eliminating class rank," 27 June 2019

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

15 Jul 2019

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 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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