Definitions

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

  • adjective Of or relating to a mental faculty.
  • adjective Capable of occurring or not occurring; contingent.
  • adjective Not required or compulsory; optional.
  • adjective Granting permission or authority.
  • adjective Biology Capable of functioning under varying environmental conditions. Used of certain organisms, such as bacteria that can live with or without oxygen.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Conferring a faculty, right, or power; enabling.
  • Hence Conferring the power of doing or not doing; rendering optional or contingent.
  • Having a faculty or power, but exercising it only occasionally or incidentally, or failing to exercise it; occasional or incidental; optional or contingent. Compare obligate.

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

  • adjective Having relation to the grant or exercise faculty, or authority, privilege, license, or the like hence, optional; -- opposed to obligatory and compulsory, and sometimes used with to.
  • adjective (Biol.) Of such a character as to admit of existing under various forms or conditions, or of happening or not happening, or the like
  • adjective (Physiol.) Pertaining to a faculty or faculties.

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

  • adjective Of or relating to faculty, especially to mental faculty
  • adjective Not obligate; optional, discretionary or elective
  • adjective That grants permission or power to do something
  • adjective biology Able to grow in or outside of a host or host cell

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

  • adjective able to exist under more than one set of conditions
  • adjective not compulsory
  • adjective granting a privilege or permission or power to do or not do something
  • adjective of or relating to the mental faculties

Etymologies

Sorry, no etymologies found.

Examples

  • The Turkish children featured in the documentary show what I'd call facultative quadrupedalism; they walk on all fours out of necessity.

    Archive 2006-11-01

  • The Turkish children featured in the documentary show what I'd call facultative quadrupedalism; they walk on all fours out of necessity.

    Human Family Walks on All Fours

  • Most of the bacteria which produce disease are facultative, that is, they grow either with or without oxygen; but certain of them, as the bacillus of tetanus, are anaërobic.

    Disease and Its Causes

  • In some cantons the referendum is obligatory, in others it is "facultative," or optional.

    The Governments of Europe

  • I don't know if it's more to do with me (that is, if I express emotion differently in one language more than the other, that is, if English is my critical/facultative language and Spanish my emotional language) or the fact of Spanish being one of those languages with a formal (usted) and informal (tu) second person.

    Breakfast in Bed

  • Something I've not yet commented on since my part facultative-festive and part enforced-technological break is the welcome restoration of sense and good legal analysis to the field of religious discrimination by the Employment Appeal Tribunal, which has reversed the much-publicised but obviously wrong decision at first instance in this case.

    Archive 2009-01-01

  • In the same way we greet as a positive element the possibility – permitted as a facultative choice by the motu proprio – of proclaiming, in the old rite, the readings in the vernacular.

    Archive 2009-07-01

  • The host (facultative aerobe implies facultative anaerobe, doesn't it?) could handle aerobic conditions already, presumably because it had peroxisomes as oxygen sink. t's funny that you mention peroxisomes, as people once thought they were endosymbionts but now evidence seems to point to en origin from the ER.

    A critique on the endosymbiotic theory for the origin of mitochondria

  • However, the increased estuarine production discussed previously will possibly offset any tendency to reduce facultative anadromy in response to increased freshwater production.

    Effects of climate change on arctic anadromous fish

  • Something I've not yet commented on since my part facultative-festive and part enforced-technological break is the welcome restoration of sense and good legal analysis to the field of religious discrimination by the Employment Appeal Tribunal, which has reversed the much-publicised but obviously wrong decision at first instance in this case.

    Islington v Ladele: sanity restored

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