eclectic

adjective
eclec·​tic | \ i-ˈklek-tik How to pronounce eclectic (audio) , e- \

Definition of eclectic

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : composed of elements drawn from various sources also : heterogeneous
2 : selecting what appears to be best in various doctrines, methods, or styles

eclectic

noun

Definition of eclectic (Entry 2 of 2)

: one who uses a method or approach that is composed of elements drawn from various sources : one who uses an eclectic method or approach

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Other Words from eclectic

Adjective

eclectically \ i-​ˈklek-​ti-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce eclectic (audio) , e-​ \ adverb

Eclectic Has a Philosophical History

Adjective

Eclectic comes from a Greek verb meaning "to select" and was originally applied to ancient philosophers who were not committed to any single system of philosophy; instead, these philosophers selected whichever doctrines pleased them from every school of thought. Later, the word's use broadened to cover other selective natures. "Hard by, the central slab is thick with books / Diverse, but which the true eclectic mind / Knows how to group, and gather out of each / Their frequent wisdoms...." In this 19th century example from a poem by Arthur Joseph Munby, for example, the word is applied to literature lovers who cull selective works from libraries.

Examples of eclectic in a Sentence

Adjective All around us, fishers galumphed past.  … They carried an eclectic array of rods, nets, buckets and coolers. — Stephen C. Sautner, New York Times, 2 Apr. 2000 Her witty, mordant and splendidly vinegary observations were informed by broad and eclectic reading. — George F. Will, Newsweek, 24 May 1999 The polo crowd is eclectic and dangerously hagridden with narcissism and treachery, and that is the way they like it. — Hunter S. Thompson, Rolling Stone, 15 Dec. 1994 … big wheels of country bread and eclectic selections of pâtés, hams, cheeses, honey and all sorts of homemade cookies and sweets. — Per-Henrik Mansson, Wine Spectator, 28 Feb. 1993 The collection includes an eclectic mix of historical artifacts. the museum's eclectic collection has everything from a giraffe skeleton to medieval musical instruments
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The Who Sell Out is a pretty eclectic and arty album. Andy Greene, Rolling Stone, "Pete Townshend on the Who’s Uncertain Future and the Legacy of ‘The Who Sell Out’," 16 Apr. 2021 Her collection is full of pieces that are charming and eclectic. Daisy Shaw-ellis, Vogue, "Thirteen Contemporary Jewelry Labels To Invest In Now," 14 Apr. 2021 In the weeks after his death, friends told the Union-Tribune that Keiser was an avid and eclectic reader who traded his insurance sales job to be a driving instructor, which paid less but brought more joy and left him more time to surf. Teri Figueroa, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Five years after Oceanside man fatally shot, mystery continues," 22 Mar. 2021 The success of this program bodes well for anyone interested in exploring relocating to Vermont. Home of University of Vermont, Burlington is an eclectic and vibrant city. Ashley Stahl, Forbes, "The 7 Best Cities For Remote Workers In 2021," 19 Mar. 2021 Her work of art was her house, or palace, evoking a Venetian palace on the Grand Canal and decorated to the nines to reflect her eclectic, eccentric, and indisputably good taste. Brian T. Allen, National Review, "Boston’s Gardner Museum: One Classy Joint," 18 Mar. 2021 Bohemian Carefree, fuss-free, sensual, and eclectic are words that characterize the second chakra. Nathalie Kirby, House Beautiful, "How Your Major Chakra Can Determine Your Design Style," 8 Mar. 2021 Visually stunning and eclectic, the film features surreal and futuristic imagery while celebrating Black culture and paying homage to her hometown of Houston. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Solange Released a Director's Cut of When I Get Home to Celebrate Her Album's Two-Year Anniversary," 2 Mar. 2021 Most summers, the plays produced offer an eclectic and thoughtful season in the unique 150-seat, wraparound Ewing Theatre. Linda Gandee, cleveland, "French Creek Theatre sets stage for outdoor summer season," 1 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Central Lodi has blocks filled with bike shops and clothing stores, wine bars and beer joints, white-linen dining and ethnic eclectics. Ken Van Vechten, latimes.com, "Stuck in Lodi again? Relax with a glass of Zinfandel," 21 Dec. 2017 By allying himself with the eclectics, Lloyd was ostracized by regular pharmacists. Jeff Suess, Cincinnati.com, "Our history: Lloyd Library is legacy of pharmacist brothers," 27 Oct. 2017 Borrow Vintage + Eclectic, which rents and retails furniture, home accessories by local designers, is hosting a designer's showcase and open house from 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday. Nikki Delamotte, cleveland.com, "Hip 'Love Bash' bridal, wedding show set for Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park (photos)," 21 July 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'eclectic.' 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 eclectic

Adjective

1683, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Noun

1817, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for eclectic

Adjective

borrowed from Greek eklektikós "picking out, selecting what appears to be best," from eklektós "picked out, select" (verbal adjective of eklégein "to pick out, select," from ek- ec- + légein "to collect, gather, count, say") + -ikos -ic entry 1 — more at legend

Noun

borrowed from Greek eklektikós "any of a group of philosophers who selected beliefs from a variety of schools of thought," noun derivative of eklektikós eclectic entry 1

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Time Traveler for eclectic

Time Traveler

The first known use of eclectic was in 1683

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Last Updated

28 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Eclectic.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/eclectic. Accessed 9 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for eclectic

eclectic

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of eclectic

: including things taken from many different sources

eclectic

adjective
eclec·​tic | \ e-ˈklek-tik, i- \

Kids Definition of eclectic

: including things taken from many different sources The radio station plays an eclectic mix of music.

eclectic

adjective
eclec·​tic | \ e-ˈklek-tik, i- How to pronounce eclectic (audio) \

Medical Definition of eclectic

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : selecting what appears to be best in various doctrines or methods
2 : of, relating to, or practicing eclecticism

Other Words from eclectic

eclectically \ -​ti-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce eclectic (audio) \ adverb

eclectic

noun

Medical Definition of eclectic (Entry 2 of 2)

: one who uses an eclectic method or approach

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Comments on eclectic

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