Definition of selective in English:



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

    ‘the cow is the result of generations of selective breeding’
    • ‘Thus, the modern English setter was developed through selective breeding during the 19th century.’
    • ‘This was due to the development of fodder crops such as turnips and clover, and to selective breeding.’
    • ‘Dramatic laboratory studies have expanded life span in animals through selective breeding and genetic engineering.’
    • ‘Nader backers who should know better are suffering from a highly selective historical amnesia when they make these arguments.’
    • ‘I imagine that through some selective breeding, a cat with a mane could be produced.’
    • ‘In other words, the colour may be as much the result of selective breeding as of ancient purity.’
    • ‘Furthermore, the ancient cult is explicitly designed to maintain racial purity through selective breeding.’
    • ‘With selective breeding, the investigator can shape behavior to reflect specific features or symptoms of a mental disorder.’
    • ‘The problem is, people are getting confused between genetic engineering and selective breeding.’
    • ‘Congress, with selective reluctance, was skating sideways toward a qualified endorsement.’
    • ‘The gray giant was tamed, trained, but never domesticated by 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.’
    • ‘Also, how does the large variety of animals and plants produced by selective breeding fit into this issue?’
    • ‘It is even at work when a new type of dog is created through selective breeding.’
    • ‘It is important to remember that each breed of dog has its own unique qualities, reinforced by hundreds of years of selective breeding.’
    • ‘Very, very selective amnesia is practised on the other side.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Finally, I do not understand the motivation of selective breeding.’
    • ‘Maybe we're still so unspecialized for the task of running that selective breeding could accomplish this.’
    1. 1.1 (of a person) tending to choose carefully.
      ‘he is very selective in his reading’
      • ‘He was also selective about who he would speak up for in court.’
      • ‘I am very selective in my choice of prey.’
      • ‘Most people are very selective in who they refer, realizing that their credibility is on the line if that person is hired.’
      • ‘The team wants Patterson to be more selective at the plate and raise his on-base percentage.’
      • ‘Employers have become increasingly selective in the type of individual they are prepared to employ.’
      • ‘Once again, the authors are highly selective in the arguments that they choose to explore.’
      • ‘He is also selective about what is included in each work of art.’
      • ‘Now he's quite selective about hitting the distant stages.’
      • ‘Some great fighters are very selective in who they fight.’
      • ‘He was also selective in picking objects for his paintings and was very careful in depicting them, too.’
      • ‘We're not selective in that way to what reaction people should or shouldn't have.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Berkeley was a bit selective in his use of the razor, however.’
      • ‘As the volume of emails rises, I've had to become selective.’
      • ‘I spend a lot time getting in touch with who I am and I'm more selective about the company I keep.’
      • ‘The only problem is that she is very selective in her references.’
      • ‘In retrospect, I was too selective in recording data.’
      • ‘Jones has been more selective at the plate, waiting for pitches he can handle.’
      • ‘People, especially the rich ones, are still willing to travel worldwide but they are very selective in choosing flights and accommodation, he said.’
      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’
      • ‘Here we have the same selective process at work in a different field, but one that invites similar blind reactions.’
      • ‘Early diagnosis, treatment with appropriate antibiotics, and selective drainage have substantially reduced mortality.’
      • ‘One explanation might be that duplication of this region confers a selective growth advantage.’
      • ‘However, such a hypothesis is again unable to explain the selective maintenance of alleles in humans.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘First, it allows us to determine the probabilities for selective adaptations in both scenarios.’
      • ‘Polymorphic differences occur as selective adaptations to different environments.’
      • ‘It is porous, takes up water and because it is soluble, it leads to ongoing selective loss of the copper from the alloy.’
      • ‘We focus here on human population history, although we include some discussion of selective processes.’
      • ‘The editing of my films is a long and selective process.’
      • ‘The selective maintenance of inversion polymorphisms has been the subject of abundant theoretical work.’
      • ‘It can then be argued that treatment effects result from selective attrition of higher risk cases.’
      • ‘He drew attention to the selective processes and motivations that form memories.’
      • ‘However, at the research level there's no alternative to a proper selective process.’
      • ‘The first cohort effect could be attributable to the selective attrition of inactive records.’
      • ‘The acquisition of reading and writing skills was a socially selective process.’
      • ‘Think of it as the ongoing and selective process of evolution: whatever works moves forward, and whatever doesn't is scrapped.’
    3. 1.3Electronics Operating at or responding to a particular frequency.
      ‘a new marine VHF radio with digital selective calling’
      • ‘Antennas with high gain, selective patterns and high efficiency can assure that networks are reliable and perform at the best.’
      • ‘Such selective frequency absorbing photovoltaics will then allow houses to be different colors.’
      • ‘This implies that there is room for improving the power to detect selective sweeps by adding LD into frequency spectrum.’
      • ‘Previous work has shown that recurrent selective sweeps lead to a strong skew in the frequency spectrum toward an excess of rare variants.’