eccentricity

noun
ec·​cen·​tric·​i·​ty | \ ˌek-(ˌ)sen-ˈtri-sə-tē \
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

Prior work suggested that the most likely explanation for this orbital eccentricity was gravitational tug-of-war between exoplanets. Charles Q. Choi, Space.com, "Wandering Rogue Moons May Be As Common As Stars," 19 Mar. 2018 And a large part of that is a desire to avoid spoiling the game's eccentricities. Julie Muncy, Ars Technica, "Hitman 2 review: Accessible stealth oozing with style," 16 Nov. 2018 An energy-packed, vibrant tome brimming with eccentricity, color, beauty, patterns, movement and whimsy, Fashionable Selby will draw you in and keep you flipping page after page. Kristen Bateman, Harper's BAZAAR, "Book Corner: Fashionable Selby," 17 Mar. 2014 The show as a whole ran like clockwork, without any significant gaffes but also no particularly memorable outbreaks of emotion or eccentricity. Mike Hale, New York Times, "Review: Hope and Restraint at the Tonys. Then Came Robert De Niro.," 10 June 2018 Atlanta in the early 2000s was a hotbed for musical innovation, with artists like OutKast spinning their eccentricities and distinct Southern identity into record deals and national fame. Jenna Wortham, New York Times, "How Janelle Monáe Found Her Voice," 19 Apr. 2018 The sons’ careers have been obsessively scrutinized in the media, from their enormous salary deals to their inexplicable losing streaks and personal eccentricities. S.c. Gwynne, WSJ, "‘In the Name of the Father’ Review: The Manning Mystique," 31 Aug. 2018 London women seemed more open to eccentricity than New Yorkers; less uniformly polished. Jessica Berger Gross, Longreads, "Gone Gray," 10 July 2018 Arriving in 2008, Philo took a previously staid brand and remade it in her own image, infusing it with sensuality, modernity and more than just a hint of eccentricity. New York Times, "11 Women on Phoebe Philo’s Céline Era," 1 Mar. 2018

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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Last Updated

14 Jan 2019

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The first known use of eccentricity was in 1545

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More Definitions for eccentricity

eccentricity

noun

English Language Learners Definition of eccentricity

: the quality of being strange or unusual in behavior

: an act or habit that is strange or unusual

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