1

eclectic

adjective eclec·tic \ i-ˈklek-tik , e- \
Updated on: 15 Nov 2017

Definition of eclectic

1 : composed of elements drawn from various sources; also : heterogeneous
2 : selecting what appears to be best in various doctrines, methods, or styles

eclectically

play \i-ˈklek-ti-k(ə-)lē, e-\ adverb

eclectic was our Word of the Day on 03/09/2010. Hear the podcast!

Examples of eclectic in a Sentence

  1. All around us, fishers galumphed past.  … They carried an eclectic array of rods, nets, buckets and coolers. —Stephen C. SautnerNew York Times2 Apr. 2000
  2. Her witty, mordant and splendidly vinegary observations were informed by broad and eclectic reading. —George F. WillNewsweek24 May 1999
  3. The polo crowd is eclectic and dangerously hagridden with narcissism and treachery, and that is the way they like it. —Hunter S. ThompsonRolling Stone15 Dec. 1994
  4. … big wheels of country bread and eclectic selections of pâtés, hams, cheeses, honey and all sorts of homemade cookies and sweets. —Per-Henrik ManssonWine Spectator28 Feb. 1993
  5. The collection includes an eclectic mix of historical artifacts.

  6. the museum's eclectic collection has everything from a giraffe skeleton to medieval musical instruments

Recent Examples of eclectic from the Web

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.

eclectic Has a Philosophical History

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.

Origin and Etymology of eclectic

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


2

eclectic

noun

Definition of eclectic

: one who uses a method or approach that is composed of elements drawn from various sources : one who uses an eclectic method or approach

Recent Examples of eclectic from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of eclectic


ECLECTIC Defined for English Language Learners

eclectic

adjective

Definition of eclectic for English Language Learners

  • : including things taken from many different sources


ECLECTIC Defined for Kids

eclectic

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

Definition of eclectic for Students

: including things taken from many different sources
  • The radio station plays an eclectic mix of music.

Medical Dictionary

1

eclectic

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

medical Definition of eclectic

1 : selecting what appears to be best in various doctrines or methods
2 : of, relating to, or practicing eclecticism

eclectically

play \-ti-k(ə-)lē\ adverb

2

eclectic

noun

medical Definition of eclectic

: one who uses an eclectic method or approach


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