Definition of selective in English:

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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;
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.
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.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: se·lec·tive

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