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

My look was eclectic but with a rocker’s perspective. Marc Myers, WSJ, "Led Zeppelin Changed the Life of John Varvatos—and It Wasn’t the Music," 11 Dec. 2018 Dolce has always been big on family, and each member of the bunch was well-represented within the eclectic group assembled for this collection. Janelle Okwodu, Vogue, "Can Anything Top Dolce & Gabbana’s Star-Studded Spring Cast?," 23 Sep. 2018 Polkow arranges many of the musical numbers the three perform on their eclectic group of instruments. Sheryl Devore, Lake County News-Sun, "Zion concert is part of New Odyssey's final year of concerts," 12 July 2018 The eclectic nature of Mr. Schneiderman’s cases is indicative of the broad mandate of the New York attorney general. Matthew Goldstein, New York Times, "Eric Schneiderman’s Legacy in Financial Cases May Survive His Downfall," 9 May 2018 Choreography by Alaric Frinzi, Elisabeth Christie and Madeline Regier complemented the eclectic nature of the music — everything from hymns to full-on rock — with an energizing pastiche of classical and contemporary styles. Matthew J. Palm, OrlandoSentinel.com, "UCF's Bernstein 'Mass' will thrill your weary soul," 6 Apr. 2018 The hip-hop innovator isn't afraid to show off his bold and eclectic sense of style, and the fashion set has taken notice and given their approval. Nicole Saunders, Harper's BAZAAR, "Who is Alicia Keys' Husband, Swizz Beatz?," 10 Feb. 2019 Judges chose an eclectic range of 31 books in six competitive categories, from fiction to criticism to autobiography, for which six finalists were picked. Hillel Italie, The Seattle Times, "Rachel Kushner among finalists for book critics prizes," 22 Jan. 2019 The actress splashed onto the scene in the early 80’s, cutting her piercing white teeth on General Hospital and sporting a set of blunt, choppy bangs that quickly morphed into a messy bouffant to match her eclectic style. Jenna Rennert, Vogue, "At 56, Demi Moore Has Never Looked Better," 11 Nov. 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

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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Last Updated

19 Mar 2019

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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- 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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More from Merriam-Webster on eclectic

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with eclectic

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for eclectic

Spanish Central: Translation of eclectic

Nglish: Translation of eclectic for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of eclectic for Arabic Speakers

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