Definition of selectivity in US English:



  • 1The quality of carefully choosing someone or something as the best or most suitable.

    ‘provision is organized on the principle of selectivity’
    • ‘Those unfamiliar with these significant changes in institutional wealth, selectivity, student quality, and academic research will benefit greatly from this book.’
    • ‘As can be seen from the above, a constant theme in the bill is selectivity.’
    • ‘His lack of selectivity only stacks the shelves higher.’
    • ‘The depressed person also uses this selectivity in recalling past experiences.’
    • ‘Given the diversity of seminaries, neither would it be fair to rank them comparatively based on selectivity and other factors that are goads to quality in fields such as business and law.’
    • ‘Ultimately, while investment is crucial, discerning selectivity is the key.’
    • ‘The second factor with respect to hiring that Hunter talks about is the amount of selectivity you can apply in choosing.’
    • ‘According to Balik, increasing selectivity in admissions does not necessarily have any correlation with higher grades being distributed.’
    • ‘As demonstrated, it has carved out for itself a leadership role that sought to square one particular circle, namely the reconciliation of the need for legitimacy, with a unilateral right to apply a principle of selectivity.’
    • ‘What is less obvious in this sort of reportage is its selectivity or the use of leading questions.’
    • ‘The selectivity of news is one of the most vulnerable elements of journalism.’
    • ‘By their selectivity of causes and their self-serving approach they have discredited themselves as genuine defenders of human rights and liberties.’
    • ‘Unilever has applied the principle of brand selectivity on a much grander scale.’
    • ‘They told the gathering that universities were concerned about funding, including greater selectivity in research and the problems of attracting a wider range of students into higher education.’
    • ‘In my opinion, selectivity should be replaced with objectivity and consistency.’
    • ‘In both cases there's the same unexplained, unjustified selectivity, and hence the charge of discrimination stands.’
    • ‘The school does not have the luxury of selectivity and of a total atmosphere like at St. Gregory's.’
    discernment, judgement, perception, perceptiveness, perspicacity, acumen, astuteness, shrewdness, judiciousness, insight, subtlety
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 The property of affecting some things and not others.
      • ‘Non-lethal weapons have inherent characteristics of precision effects, selectivity of engagement, and versatility.’
      • ‘It seems appropriate in this connection to analyze selectivity as a characteristic of weapon systems.’
      • ‘Biocontrol agents are chosen specifically for their selectivity, so they cannot be expected to control a complex of weeds effectively.’
    2. 1.2Electronics The ability of a device to respond to a particular frequency without interference from others.
      • ‘It has been proposed on general theoretical grounds that the frequency selectivity of hair bundles, as well as their sensitivity to weak signals, is conferred by their proximity to a dynamical instability.’
      • ‘Having transduction mechanisms in both directions makes the cell a key element in the feedback loop in the cochlea that enhances the frequency selectivity and broadens the dynamic range of the ear.’
      • ‘This electromechanical behavior enhances the amplitude of vibration and sharpens the frequency selectivity of the cochlear partition in response to sound.’
      • ‘The sharp frequency selectivity of auditory nerve fiber responses to sound is a hallmark of vertebrate cochlear function.’
      • ‘Although the hair cell's electrical resonance and frequency selectivity are well understood, a problem remains.’