- 1 [usually before noun] affecting or concerned with only a small number of people or things from a larger group the selective breeding of cattle selective work stoppage
- 2selective (about/in something) tending to be careful about what or who you choose You will have to be selective about which information to include in the report. Their admissions policy is very selective. a selective school (= one that chooses which children to admit, especially according to ability)
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adverb The product will be selectively marketed in the U.S. (= only in some areas).
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NAmE//səˌlɛkˈtɪvət̮i//noun [uncountable] Schools are tending toward greater selectivity.