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2 definitions found
 for facultative
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Facultative \Fac"ul*ta*tive\, a. [L. facultas, -atis, faculty:
     cf. F. facultatif, G. fakultativ.]
     1. Having relation to the grant or exercise faculty, or
        authority, privilege, license, or the like hence,
        optional; as, facultative enactments, or those which
        convey a faculty, or permission; the facultative
        referendum of Switzerland is one that is optional with the
        people and is necessary only when demanded by petition;
        facultative studies; -- opposed to obligatory and
        compulsory, and sometimes used with to.
        [Webster 1913 Suppl.]
  
     2. Of such a character as to admit of existing under various
        forms or conditions, or of happening or not happening, or
        the like; specif.: (Biol.) Having the power to live under
        different conditions; as, a facultative parasite, a plant
        which is normally saprophytic, but which may exist wholly
        or in part as a parasite; -- opposed to obligate.
        [Webster 1913 Suppl.]
  
     3. (Physiol.) Pertaining to a faculty or faculties.
  
              In short, there is no facultative plurality in the
              mind; it is a single organ of true judgment for all
              purposes, cognitive or practical.     --J.
                                                    Martineau.
        [Webster 1913 Suppl.]

From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) :

  facultative
      adj 1: of or relating to the mental faculties
      2: able to exist under more than one set of conditions; "a
         facultative parasite can exist as a parasite or a saprophyte"
         [ant: obligate]
      3: granting a privilege or permission or power to do or not do
         something; "a facultative enactment"
      4: not compulsory; "facultative courses in the sciences"

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