Meaning of selective in English:


Pronunciation /sɪˈlɛktɪv/

See synonyms for selective

Translate selective into Spanish


  • 1Relating to or involving the selection of the most suitable or best qualified.

    ‘the cow is the result of generations of selective breeding’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Maybe we're still so unspecialized for the task of running that selective breeding could accomplish this.’
    • ‘With selective breeding, the investigator can shape behavior to reflect specific features or symptoms of a mental disorder.’
    • ‘Dramatic laboratory studies have expanded life span in animals through selective breeding and genetic engineering.’
    • ‘It is important to remember that each breed of dog has its own unique qualities, reinforced by hundreds of years of selective breeding.’
    • ‘It is even at work when a new type of dog is created through selective breeding.’
    • ‘Also, how does the large variety of animals and plants produced by selective breeding fit into this issue?’
    • ‘This was due to the development of fodder crops such as turnips and clover, and to selective breeding.’
    • ‘I imagine that through some selective breeding, a cat with a mane could be produced.’
    • ‘The problem is, people are getting confused between genetic engineering and selective breeding.’
    • ‘In other words, the colour may be as much the result of selective breeding as of ancient purity.’
    • ‘Thus, the modern English setter was developed through selective breeding during the 19th century.’
    • ‘Congress, with selective reluctance, was skating sideways toward a qualified endorsement.’
    • ‘Nader backers who should know better are suffering from a highly selective historical amnesia when they make these arguments.’
    • ‘Very, very selective amnesia is practised on the other side.’
    • ‘The gray giant was tamed, trained, but never domesticated by selective breeding.’
    • ‘Resistance to sleeping sickness is one trait that potentially could spread through selective breeding.’
    • ‘Moreover, selective breeding has been for fur characteristics, rather than for domestication.’
    1. 1.1(of a person) tending to choose carefully.
      ‘he is very selective in his reading’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Now he's quite selective about hitting the distant stages.’
      • ‘The only problem is that she is very selective in her references.’
      • ‘He was also selective about who he would speak up for in court.’
      • ‘He is also selective about what is included in each work of art.’
      • ‘It's important that you're selective about what you install on your computer.’
      • ‘It would seem they are somewhat selective in their condemnation of stereotyping.’
      • ‘People, especially the rich ones, are still willing to travel worldwide but they are very selective in choosing flights and accommodation, he said.’
      • ‘We're not selective in that way to what reaction people should or shouldn't have.’
      • ‘Some great fighters are very selective in who they fight.’
      • ‘In retrospect, I was too selective in recording data.’
      • ‘I spend a lot time getting in touch with who I am and I'm more selective about the company I keep.’
      • ‘Jones has been more selective at the plate, waiting for pitches he can handle.’
      • ‘The team wants Patterson to be more selective at the plate and raise his on-base percentage.’
      • ‘I am very selective in my choice of prey.’
      • ‘Berkeley was a bit selective in his use of the razor, however.’
      • ‘As the volume of emails rises, I've had to become selective.’
      • ‘Employers have become increasingly selective in the type of individual they are prepared to employ.’
      discriminating, discriminatory, discerning, critical, exacting, demanding, particular, hard to please
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2(of a process or agent) affecting some things and not others.
      ‘modern pesticides are more selective in effect’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Think of it as the ongoing and selective process of evolution: whatever works moves forward, and whatever doesn't is scrapped.’
      • ‘However, at the research level there's no alternative to a proper selective process.’
      • ‘He drew attention to the selective processes and motivations that form memories.’
      • ‘We focus here on human population history, although we include some discussion of selective processes.’
      • ‘Here we have the same selective process at work in a different field, but one that invites similar blind reactions.’
      • ‘The first cohort effect could be attributable to the selective attrition of inactive records.’
      • ‘He also feels that Kerala should have supplemented its achievement in primary education with selective development of the higher education sector.’
      • ‘The selective closure can also help reduce parents' anxiety about their children who are out there exposed to physical dangers and health risks.’
      • ‘It is porous, takes up water and because it is soluble, it leads to ongoing selective loss of the copper from the alloy.’
      • ‘Polymorphic differences occur as selective adaptations to different environments.’
      • ‘They speculated that the gaps in the solar spectrum are the result of selective absorption by atoms in the Earth's atmosphere.’
      • ‘Apart from the retinal area in the eye, the other areas that can be damaged by selective absorption of laser energy are the cornea and lens.’
      • ‘Early diagnosis, treatment with appropriate antibiotics, and selective drainage have substantially reduced mortality.’
      • ‘The selective maintenance of inversion polymorphisms has been the subject of abundant theoretical work.’
      • ‘First, it allows us to determine the probabilities for selective adaptations in both scenarios.’
      • ‘However, such a hypothesis is again unable to explain the selective maintenance of alleles in humans.’
      • ‘One explanation might be that duplication of this region confers a selective growth advantage.’
    3. 1.3Electronics Operating at or responding to a particular frequency.
      ‘a new marine VHF radio with digital selective calling’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘This implies that there is room for improving the power to detect selective sweeps by adding LD into frequency spectrum.’