Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Of or relating to a selection by vote.
  • adjective Filled or obtained by election.
  • adjective Having the power or authority to elect; electoral.
  • adjective Permitting or involving a choice; optional.
  • noun An optional academic course or subject.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Chosen by election; dependent on choice; bestowed or passing by election: as, an elective monarchy (one in which the king is raised to the throne by election); the office is elective: opposed to hereditary, or to tenure by appointment.
  • Pertaining or relating to or consisting in the choice or right of choosing by vote: as, the elective principle in government; the elective franchise.
  • Exerting the power of choice.
  • Selecting for combination: as, an elective attraction, which is a tendency in bodies to unite with certain kinds of matter in preference to other kinds.
  • noun In the colleges of the United States, an optional study; any one of a number of studies from which the scholar is allowed to select that which he prefers.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Exerting the power of choice; selecting.
  • adjective Pertaining to, or consisting in, choice, or right of choosing; electoral.
  • adjective Bestowed or passing by election
  • adjective Dependent on choice; that can be refused. Opposite of required or mandatory.
  • adjective (Chem.) a tendency to unite with certain things; chemism.
  • noun colloq. In an American college, an optional study or course of study; a course that is not required.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective Of, or pertaining to voting or elections
  • adjective That involves a choice between options; optional or discretionary
  • noun Something that is option or that may be elected, especially a course of tertiary study.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a course that the student can select from among alternatives
  • adjective subject to popular election
  • adjective not compulsory

Etymologies

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Examples

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