elective

Something that's elective is optional — you can choose to do it, or not. An elective course in school is one you take because you want to rather than to fill a particular requirement, although you still get credit for it.

You can take elective classes in high school or college. In fact, the word elective is sometimes used as a noun, to mean "optional class." Also, if someone has elective surgery, that means he’s getting an optional operation, like a nose job or a face-lift. In either case, nothing is required or compulsory — it's a free choice. The word comes from the Latin electivus, by way of eligere, "pick out or select," which is also the root of election.

Primary Meanings of elective

1.
adjn
not compulsory
a course that the student can select from among alternatives
2.
adj
subject to popular election
Full Definitions of elective
1

adj not compulsory

elective surgery”
“an elective course of study”
Synonyms:
optional
possible but not necessary; left to personal choice

n a course that the student can select from among alternatives

Synonyms:
elective course
Type of:
class, course, course of instruction, course of study
education imparted in a series of lessons or meetings
2

adj subject to popular election

elective official”
Synonyms:
elected
electoral
relating to or composed of electors
nonappointive
filled by popular election rather than by appointment
Antonyms:
appointed, appointive
subject to appointment
nominated, nominative
appointed by nomination
non-elective, nonelected, nonelective
filled by appointment rather than by election
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