1) ADJ-GRADED: ADJ n A selective process applies only to a few things or people.

Selective breeding may result in a greyhound running faster and seeing better than a wolf.

...selective education.

Derived words:
selectively ADV usu ADV with v

Within the project, trees are selectively cut on a 25-year rotation.

selectivity [[t]sɪle̱ktɪ̱vɪti[/t]] N-UNCOUNT usu with supp

The soldiers specialized in going out in small groups, to kill with a very high degree of selectivity.

2) ADJ-GRADED: usu v-link ADJ When someone is selective, they choose things carefully, for example the things that they buy or do.

Sales still happen, but buyers are more selective...

If public figures seek publicity to further their careers, they can't be selective about it.

Derived words:
selectively ADV-GRADED ADV with v

...people on small incomes who wanted to shop selectively.

3) ADJ-GRADED: usu ADJ n (disapproval) If you say that someone has a selective memory, you disapprove of the fact that they remember certain facts about something and deliberately forget others, often because it is convenient for them to do so.

We seem to have a selective memory for the best bits of the past...

Mr Robins, suffering from selective amnesia about his role in the affair, was contradicted in nearly every instance by other witnesses.

Derived words:
selectively ADV-GRADED ADV with v

...a tendency to remember only the pleasurable effects of the drug and selectively forget all the adverse effects.

English dictionary. 2008.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • selective — UK US /sɪˈlektɪv/ adjective ► intentionally choosing certain things or people, and not others: be selective about sth »We need to be more selective about the people we hire. be selective in sth/doing sth »Banks have become more selective in… …   Financial and business terms

  • Selective — Se*lect ive, a. Selecting; tending to select. [1913 Webster] This selective providence of the Almighty. Bp. Hall. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • selective — (adj.) 1620s; see SELECT (Cf. select) + IVE (Cf. ive). Related: Selectively; selectiveness. Selective service is from 1917, American English …   Etymology dictionary

  • selective — index adoptive, discretionary, discriminating (distinguishing), discriminating (judicious), disjunctive (alternative …   Law dictionary

  • selective — [adj] discriminating careful, choicy, choosy, discerning, discriminatory, eclectic, fussy, judicious, particular, persnickety*, picky, scrupulous, select; concepts 404,542 Ant. open, uncaring, undiscriminating, unselective …   New thesaurus

  • selective — ► ADJECTIVE 1) relating to or involving selection. 2) tending to choose carefully. 3) (of a process or agent) affecting some things and not others. DERIVATIVES selectively adverb selectiveness noun selectivity noun …   English terms dictionary

  • selective — [sə lek′tiv] adj. 1. of or characterized by selection 2. a) having the power of selecting; tending to select b) tending to select carefully; fastidious; discriminating 3. Radio excluding oscillations on all frequencies except the one desired… …   English World dictionary

  • selective — adj. VERBS ▪ be ADVERB ▪ extremely, fairly, very, etc. ▪ highly ▪ increasi …   Collocations dictionary

  • selective — se|lec|tive [sıˈlektıv] adj 1.) careful about what you choose to do, buy, allow etc selective about/in ▪ We re very selective about what we let the children watch. ▪ selective schools (=that choose which students to accept) ▪ He has a very… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • selective —    indiscriminate    It denotes various military activities, where you wish to play down the horror. Selective ordnance is usually napalm, less widely destructive than a nuclear blast but hardly discriminating in its victims. A selective strike… …   How not to say what you mean: A dictionary of euphemisms

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