1 adj 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.
selectively adv usu ADV with v
Within the project, trees are selectively cut on a 25-year rotation.
selectivity 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 When someone is selective, they choose things carefully, for example the things that they buy or do.
usu v-link ADJ
Sales still happen, but buyers are more selective...
selectively adv ADV with v
...people on small incomes who wanted to shop selectively.
3 adj 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. usu ADJ n (disapproval)
We seem to have a selective memory for the best bits of the past...
selectively adv ADV with v ...a tendency to selectively forget all the adverse effects of the drug.
In the United States, selective service is a system of selecting and ordering young men to serve in the armed forces for a limited period of time. n-uncount
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"Collins Cobuild English Dictionary for Advanced Learners 4th edition published in 2003 © HarperCollins Publishers 1987, 1995, 2001, 2003 and Collins A-Z Thesaurus 1st edition first published in 1995 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995"