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 Founded by Rosemary Wettenhall in 2007, Madame Matovu Vintage houses an eclectic mix of clothing, accessories, and antiques based on Wettenhall’s Ugandan heritage and her extensive world travels. Sarah Adams, Town & Country, "Where to Shop for Vintage Clothing in New York City," 13 Jan. 2021 Our top five reviews of 2020 are an eclectic mix that speaks to the diversity of enthusiast and C/D reader interests. Tony Quiroga, Car and Driver, "Our Top Car Reviews of 2020," 30 Dec. 2020 Their early collaborators were an eclectic mix of new wave and experimental rock figures such as synth-pop hitmaker Thomas Dolby and Kraftwerk producer Conny Plank, along with Larry Smith, a major figure behind the boards for Run-D.M.C. Los Angeles Times, "Whodini rapper John ‘Ecstasy’ Fletcher, hip-hop pioneer, dies at 56," 24 Dec. 2020 Bronner wanted to include an eclectic mix, so on Jan. 29, patrons can watch The Great DuBois, a circus show with juggling, magic and contortion featuring Michael DuBois and Viktoria Grimmy. Sheryl Devore, chicagotribune.com, "James Lumber Center offers free reimagined live performances," 22 Dec. 2020 The third largest Great Lake by surface area (second by volume) is an eclectic mix of dune bluffs, sandy beaches, rugged rocks, major Midwestern cities, tourist towns and marshlands. Patrick M. O’connell Chicago Tribune, Star Tribune, "As Lake Michigan beaches erode, millions of dollars have been poured into temporary solutions," 20 Dec. 2020 Their destinations are equally eclectic and, in many cases, surprising. Washington Post, "Every December, Frommer’s publishes its best places list. This year will be different.," 19 Dec. 2020 No, Lindhout and Slawson, the leaders of a eclectic group called Creative Destruction Collective, are eyeing more pernicious deceptions, society-wide falsehoods that result in or mask poverty, unhappiness, and environmental degradation. Zachary Lewis, cleveland, "New ‘Feast’ ballet uses dance to confront consumerism, poverty, climate change and other real-world problems," 19 Nov. 2020 The upcoming season, set to air on September 14 and hosted by Tyra Banks, will see the eclectic group of celebrities take on various ballroom dance styles over the course of the next few weeks. Ineye Komonibo, refinery29.com, "The Cast Of Dancing With The Stars Season 29 Perfectly Embodies The Chaos Of 2020," 2 Sep. 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

22 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Eclectic.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/eclectic. Accessed 27 Jan. 2021.

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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 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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