Definition of selective in English:


Syllabification: se·lec·tive
Pronunciation: /səˈlektiv


  • 1Relating to or involving the selection of the most suitable or best qualified: the mini-cow is the result of generations of selective breeding
    More example sentences
    • Finally, I do not understand the motivation of selective breeding.
    • The banana's main problem is that it has become sterile and seedless as a result of 10,000 years of selective breeding.
    • Furthermore, the ancient cult is explicitly designed to maintain racial purity through selective breeding.
  • 1.1(Of a person) tending to choose carefully: he is very selective in his reading
    More example sentences
    • He was also selective in picking objects for his paintings and was very careful in depicting them, too.
    • Once again, the authors are highly selective in the arguments that they choose to explore.
    • Most people are very selective in who they refer, realizing that their credibility is on the line if that person is hired.
    discerning, discriminating, discriminatory, critical, exacting, demanding, particular; fussy, fastidious
    informal choosy, persnickety, picky, finicky
  • 1.2(Of a process or agent) affecting some things and not others: modern pesticides are more selective in effect
    More example sentences
    • The acquisition of reading and writing skills was a socially selective process.
    • It can then be argued that treatment effects result from selective attrition of higher risk cases.
    • The editing of my films is a long and selective process.
  • 1.3chiefly Electronics Operating at or responding to a particular frequency.
    More example sentences
    • Such selective frequency absorbing photovoltaics will then allow houses to be different colors.
    • Antennas with high gain, selective patterns and high efficiency can assure that networks are reliable and perform at the best.
    • Previous work has shown that recurrent selective sweeps lead to a strong skew in the frequency spectrum toward an excess of rare variants.



More example sentences
  • Am I being selectively harsh on these people or are they merely being clear about what matters to them?
  • Then selectively enforce it against anyone who is troublesome by suing them.
  • Academia must engage with the media selectively and on its own terms.

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