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

  • adjective Left to choice; not compulsory or automatic.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Left to one's option or choice; depending on choice or preference.
  • Leaving something to choice; involving a power of choice or option.
  • noun In the colleges of the United States, an elective study, or one left to choice; an elective.

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

  • adjective Involving an option; depending on the exercise of an option; left to one's discretion or choice; allowed but not compulsory

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

  • adjective Not compulsory; left to personal choice; elective.

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

  • adjective possible but not necessary; left to personal choice


Sorry, no etymologies found.



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  • Oddly enough, 'X is not an option' conveys the opposite of 'X is not optional'.

    November 28, 2009