eclectic

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

Synonyms & Antonyms for eclectic

Synonyms: Adjective

assorted, heterogeneous, indiscriminate, miscellaneous, mixed, motley, patchwork, promiscuous, raggle-taggle, ragtag, varied

Antonyms: Adjective

homogeneous

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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

An app called Douyin has won over millions of Chinese fans by serving up an eclectic array of 15-second videos featuring lip-syncing teenagers, cute dogs doing tricks and fabulous-looking people flaunting designer fashions. Liza Lin, WSJ, "China Bans Ads on Booming Video App," 10 July 2018 The Fort Worth location draws an eclectic crowd, especially in the overnight hours, and was a favorite of classical pianist Van Cliburn, who came in one night looking for a quiet table and generously tipped the waitress who served him for years. Robert Philpot And Bud Kennedy, star-telegram, "Ol' South is adding a 2nd location — south of the first Ol' South," 28 June 2018 The 158-room hotel boasts a gorgeous roof top bar and restaurant and an eclectic, industrial-chic design. Christina Pérez, Vogue, "Why Milwaukee, Wisconsin Is the Midwest’s Coolest (and Most Underrated) City," 10 July 2018 Instead of a history lesson, Costa focused on something eclectic, diverse, and playful, grounded in references including Mexican architect Luis Barragán and Italian architect Gio Ponti. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "Motel revivalism: How hipster hoteliers created a new roadside attraction," 22 June 2018 As for the boards themselves, the designs already submitted are an eclectic bunch. Howard Ludwig, Daily Southtown, "Beverly’s Horse Thief Hollow combines 'Brews, Bags And Art'," 8 May 2018 Popular music is more diverse and eclectic than ever, driven as much by synth musings and syncopation as power chords and soaring solos. Patrik Jonsson, The Christian Science Monitor, "Fall of Gibson: Where have all the guitar heroes gone?," 7 May 2018 Tank, and her back-up singers the Grenades greeted the audience in eclectic, mixed pattern clothing ready to perform. Kendra Parks, NOLA.com, "Tank and the Bangas hype the Acura Stage crowd for the first time," 5 May 2018 Colombia players practiced celebration dance moves and have performed an eclectic dance routine in the changing room. Andrew Beaton, WSJ, "The World Cup of Boring Celebrations," 13 July 2018

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

Greek eklektikos, from eklegein to select, from ex- out + legein to gather — more at legend

Noun

see eclectic entry 1

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Statistics for eclectic

Last Updated

17 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for eclectic

The first known use of eclectic was in 1683

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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- \

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 \ adverb

eclectic

noun

Medical Definition of eclectic (Entry 2 of 2)

: one who uses an eclectic method or approach

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