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

Data shows that Asian-American students are overrepresented at many of America’s most selective schools. P.r. Lockhart, Vox, "The lawsuit against Harvard that could change affirmative action in college admissions, explained," 18 Oct. 2018 Those things clearly give them an edge in getting into selective magnet schools and colleges and universities. Valerie Strauss, Washington Post, "What you should know about race-based affirmative action and diversity in schools," 3 July 2018 As the city has increasingly moved to a middle-school choice system, high-performing students tend to cluster in a small group of selective middle schools with a proven track record of getting children into the specialized high schools. New York Times, "Who Wins, and Who Loses, in the Proposed Plan for Elite Schools?," 29 June 2018 Mason had already been accepted into the selective Butler School of Music at the University of Texas at Austin, CNN affiliate KXAN reported. Mercedes Leguizamon And Brandon Griggs, CNN, "Austin victim Draylen Mason never got to go to college. There's an effort to make sure other minority students can," 29 Mar. 2018 Despite demographic changes and declining numbers of college-aged students, applications to selective schools remain high. Deirdre Fernandes, BostonGlobe.com, "Spring is in the air, and so is rejection for high school seniors," 27 Mar. 2018 Mason, a bass player who had spent months preparing for auditions to attend the selective Butler School of Music at the University of Texas in Austin, stood next to her as his mother sliced into the package. San Antonio Express-News, "‘This is our guy’ - inside the hunt for Austin’s serial bomber," 24 Mar. 2018 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

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

20 May 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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