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See also: sélective



(This etymology is missing or incomplete. Please add to it, or discuss it at the Etymology scriptorium.)


  • IPA(key): /səˈlɛktɪv/
    • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɛktɪv


selective (comparative more selective, superlative most selective)

  1. Of or relating to the process of selection.
    • 2016, Xingming Sun, Alex Liu, Han-Chieh Chao, Cloud Computing and Security: Second International Conference, ICCCS 2016, Nanjing, China, July 29-31, 2016, Revised Selected Papers (part 2, page 579)
      The selective algorithm excludes the redundant classifiers to construct a streamlined ensemble learning.
  2. (biology) Of or relating to natural selection.
    selective pressure
  3. (of a person) choosy, fussy or discriminating when selecting.
    He's very selective and spent hours in the store choosing a new shirt.
  4. (chiefly US, not comparable) Having the authority or capability to make a selection.
    In the USA, military conscription is controlled by the Selective Service.
  5. Of or relating to the social work approach called selectivity.
    • 2006, Francis J. Turner, Encyclopedia of Canadian Social Work, page 189:
      Eligibility criteria form the essence of selective programs and individuals are evaluated using a means test.

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