Chemoselectivity is the preferential reaction of a chemical reagent with one of two or more different functional groups. A reagent has a high chemoselectivity if reaction occurs with only a limited number of different functional groups. For example, sodium tetrahydroborate is a more chemoselective reducing agent than is lithium tetrahydroaluminate. The concept has not been defined in more quantitative terms. The term is also applied to reacting molecules or intermediates which exhibit selectivity towards chemically different reagents. Some authors use the term chemospecificity for 100% chemoselectivity. However, this usage is discouraged.
See also: regioselectivity, stereoselectivity, stereospecificity
PAC, 1994, 66, 1077. 'Glossary of terms used in physical organic chemistry (IUPAC Recommendations 1994)' on page 1097 (https://doi.org/10.1351/pac199466051077)