ec·​cen·​tric·​i·​ty | \ ˌek-(ˌ)sen-ˈtri-sə-tē How to pronounce eccentricity (audio) \
plural eccentricities

Definition of eccentricity

1a : the quality or state of being eccentric
b : deviation from an established pattern or norm especially : odd or whimsical behavior
2a : a mathematical constant that for a given conic section is the ratio of the distances from any point of the conic section to a focus and the corresponding directrix
b : the eccentricity of an astronomical orbit used as a measure of its deviation from circularity

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Examples of eccentricity in a Sentence

Some people weren't very tolerant of his eccentricity. Talking to her plants is one of her many eccentricities.
Recent Examples on the Web The trick was to make the eccentricity believable and yet funny. Rachel Syme, The New Yorker, 29 Aug. 2021 The planet of eccentricity spends seven years in each sign. Sophie Saint Thomas, Allure, 18 Aug. 2021 Charismatic newcomer Simo makes Gabi a breakout character, confidently aspirational in her eccentricity, with a drum obsession that masks a sorrowful loss. Darren Franich,, 4 Aug. 2021 For someone who grew up, like so many English readers, clutching dog-eared Mitford novels in the bath, juxtaposing that world of upper-class eccentricity with ’90s rom-coms felt almost heretical. Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, 31 July 2021 Despite the fraught circumstances, Fry’s delivery is matter-of-fact, allowing his portrait of deprivation and improvised survival to take on a poetic spareness and the eccentricity of his cast of notorious characters to spark with life. Timothy Schaffert, WSJ, 23 July 2021 The eccentricity of No Sudden Move is merely cynical, suggesting that Soderbergh lost interest midway. Armond White, National Review, 2 July 2021 After Cannes, Soderbergh graduated from the indie-movie fringe to the center of mainstream Hollywood, and his former eccentricity soured (as happened with Goynes and Russo). Armond White, National Review, 2 July 2021 For all his seeming eccentricity, Ra wasn’t a free spirit in his personal life. Hua Hsu, The New Yorker, 28 June 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'eccentricity.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of eccentricity

1545, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for eccentricity

borrowed from Medieval Latin excentricitāt-, excentricitās, from ecentricus, excentricus "not having the earth exactly at its center, eccentric entry 1" + Latin -itāt-, -itās -ity

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Learn More About eccentricity

Time Traveler for eccentricity

Time Traveler

The first known use of eccentricity was in 1545

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Dictionary Entries Near eccentricity



eccentric-shaft press

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Statistics for eccentricity

Last Updated

14 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Eccentricity.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for eccentricity



English Language Learners Definition of eccentricity

: the quality of being strange or unusual in behavior
: an act or habit that is strange or unusual

More from Merriam-Webster on eccentricity

Nglish: Translation of eccentricity for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of eccentricity for Arabic Speakers


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