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[ih-lek-tiv] /ɪˈlɛk tɪv/

pertaining to the principle of to an office, position, etc.
chosen by , as an official.
bestowed by or derived from , as an office.
having the power or right of to office, as a body of persons.
open to choice; optional; not required:
an elective subject in college; elective surgery.
Chemistry. selecting for combination or action; tending to combine with certain substances in preference to others:
elective attraction.
an optional study; a course that a student may select from among alternatives.
of or based on selection by vote: elective procedure
selected by vote: an elective official
having the power to elect
open to choice; optional: an elective course of study
an optional course or hospital placement undertaken by a medical student

early 15c., from Late Latin electivus, from electus, past participle of eligere (see election). In reference to school subjects studied at the student’s choice, first recorded 1847. As a noun, from 1701.


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  • Elect lady

    to whom the Second Epistle of John is addressed (2 John 1:1). Some think that the word rendered “lady” is a proper name, and thus that the expression should be “elect Kyria.”

  • Elector

    [ih-lek-ter] /ɪˈlɛk tər/ noun 1. a person who or may , especially a qualified voter. 2. a member of the of the U.S. 3. (usually initial capital letter) one of the German princes entitled to the emperor of the Holy Roman Empire. /ɪˈlɛktə/ noun 1. someone who is eligible to vote in the election of […]

  • Electoral

    [ih-lek-ter-uh l] /ɪˈlɛk tər əl/ adjective 1. pertaining to or . 2. consisting of . /ɪˈlɛktərəl/ adjective 1. relating to or consisting of electors adj. 1670s, in reference to Germany, from elector + -al (1). In general sense from 1790. Related: Electorally.

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