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 eclectically (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 That means sunglasses and lots of luxury vibes for Peach, Emily's actual swim team tracksuit, and an eclectic look for Stella. Julyssa Lopez, Glamour, "Shay Mitchell Dresses Up as Peach From You and Emily From Pretty Little Liars for TikTok Challenge," 4 July 2020 Drewery Place, a 27-level high-rise tower featuring studios and high-end living spaces at 2850 Fannin, is a project inspired by the unique and eclectic areas of Melbourne, Australia. Valerie Sweeten, Houston Chronicle, "Condo Life: Building spotlight: Midtown welcomes Drewery Place," 4 July 2020 The lives of an eclectic mix of black British women intersect in unexpected ways in this Booker Prize winner. Washington Post, "Washington Post paperback bestsellers," 1 July 2020 There’s an eclectic collection of bars in the area that will quench any thirst and fuel any dance party. Kara Franker, Southern Living, "Things to Do in Clearwater, Florida: Attractions and Travel Guide," 29 June 2020 But when the pandemic hit, the eclectic home furnishings retailer lost its potential buyer and now must liquidate its holdings and go out of business. Michael Braga, USA TODAY, "With bankruptcies surging, 2020 may become one of the busiest years for Chapter 11 filings since the Great Recession," 29 June 2020 This artsy market known for its eclectic treasures has returned. Shannon Sutlief, Dallas News, "Fun things to do this month in Dallas-Fort Worth — online, outdoors and more," 26 June 2020 Reimagining works by master dramatists Anton Chekhov, Luigi Pirandello, August Strindberg, and surrealist writer Guillaume Apollinaire, this lively, eclectic collection reaches into the past and finds surprising echoes in the present. Kathryn Gregory, The Courier-Journal, "Louisville's 'Fix it, Black Girl' celebrates the resilience and power of black women," 9 June 2020 In the past, small and independent brewers found common ground in challenging beer giants like Anheuser-Busch InBev with eclectic styles and approaches to beer. Alicia Wallace, CNN, "A beer can't solve racial inequality. But craft brewers are hoping it's a start," 4 June 2020 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

8 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Eclectic.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/eclectic. Accessed 13 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for eclectic

eclectic

adjective
How to pronounce eclectic (audio)

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 eclectically (audio) \ adverb

eclectic

noun

Medical Definition of eclectic (Entry 2 of 2)

: one who uses an eclectic method or approach

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