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

Non-heteronormative collective Brockhampton’s fifth album Ginger is an eclectic, tight-knit listen from start to finish, and track no. Jon Ali, Billboard, "Queer Necessities: Tove Lo, Brockhampton and More On Billboard Pride's September 2019 Playlist," 4 Sep. 2019 Especially with Asbury Park, the eclectic, coastal city that’s becoming a booming beach destination. Elise Taylor, Vogue, "5 Last-Minute Labor Day Weekend Getaways," 23 Aug. 2019 If there’s any show that encapsulated the eclectic, shabby chic, and funky cool style of the late ’90s, Friends was it. Megan Barber, Curbed, "The best decor to shop from your favorite TV shows," 13 Aug. 2019 Was my vibe rustic, modern, traditional, eclectic, or bohemian? Joyann King, ELLE Decor, "Country But Make It Fashion! Inside Joyann King’s Chic Millbrook Estate," 12 Aug. 2019 Shaq kept the crowd of 20-somethings jumping Friday with an eclectic, nearly hour-long set (warning: explicit language) that included remixed versions of songs by such artists as the Weeknd, the Killers, Travis Scott and Drake. Chuck Schilken, Los Angeles Times, "When Shaq joins the mosh pit, don’t bother trying to get out of the way," 22 July 2019 The result is an eclectic, transitional-style room large enough to accommodate diverse, yet harmonious, furnishings. Spencer Elliott, latimes.com, "Try Guys comic Ned Fulmer gives home renovation a whack," 13 July 2019 Unlike the rigid designs of past eras, Wright’s creations were organic and playful, incorporating eclectic elements like Japanese art and transcendentalist philosophy. William To, azcentral, "Love in the time of loss: ‘Shining Brow’ and the life of Frank Lloyd Wright," 30 Aug. 2019 Emarie has long experience in event planning, and the eclectic table decor mixes elegant with rustic – think candelabras and sunflowers. Georgeanne Brennan, The Mercury News, "Yolo County’s pop-up feasts capture the art of farm-to-fork dining," 29 Aug. 2019

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

17 Sep 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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