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 That the car is intended to mark the 25th anniversary of the victory is, well, British eccentricity. John Phillips, Car and Driver, "Tested: Lotus Esprit Jim Clark Edition Honors a Racing Hero," 18 June 2020 Even by Netflix's throw-everything-at-the-wall standard, this is a new benchmark for utter unique eccentricity. Darren Franich,, "The Midnight Gospel is a heartfelt cosmic masterpiece: Review," 7 May 2020 Cage, who has worked with the Coen Brothers and David Lynch, and who also screamed about bees in the much-maligned remake of The Wicker Man, can channel Exotic’s special blend of eccentricity as well as his very specific facial hair. Kaitlin Reilly,, "Even Though It Isn’t Brad Pitt, The Actor Playing Joe Exotic Couldn’t Be More Perfect," 5 May 2020 And if Jordan is the consummate athlete of his era, Rodman, in his eccentricity, materialism, transgression, and media savvy, defines that era itself. Matthew Continetti, National Review, "The End of History and ‘The Last Dance’," 2 May 2020 Since its inception, the 18,000-square-foot stunner has drawn looks and made headlines for its over-the-top style and for the string of high-profile names attracted to its eccentricity. Los Angeles Times, "Hot Property: The $30-million mansion that once got Prince in hot water," 18 Apr. 2020 Ejected from the national final The exuberance and eccentricities of McGuire came into play later that season, when the Warriors advanced to face North Carolina State in the NCAA championship game. Jr Radcliffe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "50 in 50: Al McGuire jumps on the table after Marquette shocks Wisconsin," 25 Apr. 2020 Equating Moore’s eccentricity with the oddball perversity of Ed Wood is insulting. Armond White, National Review, "Dolemite Is My Name Honors a Surprising Cultural Pioneer," 8 Nov. 2019 Besides, recluse has an air of eccentricity about it. Sarah Fay, Longreads, "On Solitude (and Isolation and Loneliness [and Brackets])," 17 Mar. 2020

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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Time Traveler for eccentricity

Time Traveler

The first known use of eccentricity was in 1545

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Statistics for eccentricity

Last Updated

21 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Eccentricity.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for eccentricity


How to pronounce eccentricity (audio)

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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