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

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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 In my previous jobs, my marketing colleagues worried that our predictive model was too selective, leaving too much money on the table. Kaiser Fung, Wired, "The Problem With Trump's Triage Testing," 18 Mar. 2020 Texas colleges are slowly becoming more selective, a glance at the latest U.S. News & World Report's 2020 Best Colleges roundup shows. Darla Guillen Gilthorpe, Houston Chronicle, "Acceptance rates for Texas universities: US News & World Report," 4 Mar. 2020 Alcohols have a broad-spectrum of antimicrobial activity and are less selective for resistance compared to other antibacterial chemicals. Michelle Sconce Massaquoi, The Conversation, "Why hand-washing really is as important as doctors say," 3 Mar. 2020 The Longhorns have been selective but did land an offensive line starter last season in Georgia Tech grad transfer Parker Braun. Chuck Carlton, Dallas News, "The transfer portal’s impact was already felt in Texas. A new proposal could soon ‘change the complete scope of college football’," 28 Feb. 2020 Getting less selective: The group trying to overturn House Bill 6, the Ohio nuclear bailout law, is having a hard time finding enough workers to circulation petitions for the ballot issue. cleveland, "Gov. Mike DeWine drops hints before today’s unveiling of gun legislation: Capitol Letter," 7 Oct. 2019 Biden’s selective—and at times flatly deceptive—invocation of his history of course mirrors the countless ways in which American political culture at large relies on robustly denying the truth about our own collective past. Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw, The New Republic, "The Destructive Politics of White Amnesia," 6 Aug. 2019 But selective breeding for any trait has risks, says Anindita Bhadra, a behavioral biologist at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, who also was not part of the new study. Jim Daley, Scientific American, "Three Fourths of Dogs Are Angst-Ridden—and Owners May Be Partly to Blame," 5 Mar. 2020 In this sense, what Belcher is doing is not so far from the selective breeding done by dog fanciers to create pooches with desirable aesthetic qualities that would be unlikely to ever show up in nature. Daniel Oberhaus, Wired, "The Next Generation of Batteries Could Be Built by Viruses," 26 Feb. 2020

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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Time Traveler for selective

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The first known use of selective was in 1625

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Statistics for selective

Last Updated

24 Mar 2020

Cite this Entry

“Selective.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/selective. Accessed 3 Apr. 2020.

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More Definitions for selective

selective

adjective
How to pronounce selective (audio)

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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