eclectic

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

Synonyms & Antonyms for eclectic

Synonyms: Adjective

assorted, heterogeneous, indiscriminate, miscellaneous, mixed, motley, patchwork, promiscuous, raggle-taggle, ragtag, varied

Antonyms: Adjective

homogeneous

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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

Upon his father’s death in 1562, Basilius Amerbach inherited an eclectic collection of curiosities. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian, "Researchers Unlock Secrets of Basel Papyrus," 13 July 2018 Cutting-edge punk An eclectic collection of Detroit’s modern punk, experimental, glam or just overall gnarly bands will be putting on a rollicking show Friday at PJ's Lager House. Jeff Milo, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit music: Grayling album release, J. Walker & the Crossguards, Chris Canas," 12 July 2018 Fans swipe through eclectic collections of user-uploaded videos, typically just 10 to 15 seconds long, interspersed with ads. WSJ, "Short-Video App Douyin Resumes Advertising," 11 July 2018 The eclectic collection has been named one of the top 10 public art collections in the U.S. by Public Art Review magazine. Dan Fellner, azcentral, "Why Lubbock, TX, is hot: Texas Tech, Buddy Holly and wine," 13 June 2018 Bellingham’s life was as eclectic as his instruments, or the sound of his words on paper. Steve Rubenstein, San Francisco Chronicle, "Memorial set for Bruce Bellingham, newspaper columnist, master of the one-liner," 13 June 2018 There is, however, an urgency to the project, because the Forsythe is an eclectic collection of places and spaces exquisitely sensitive to climate change. Kevin Riordan, Philly.com, "A Shore wildlife haven is a source of visual and musical inspiration," 28 Apr. 2018 His shop in Inman, S.C. had an eclectic collection of parts, pieces and racing memorabilia. Mike Hembree, USA TODAY, "Appreciation: Iconic NASCAR driver and ARCA team owner James Hylton dies in highway crash," 28 Apr. 2018 After lunch, take a little extra time to visit Northshore's eclectic collection of local shops and boutiques, and grab an ice cream come from Milk & Honey or Clumpies. Tara Massouleh, AL.com, "How to spend 24 hours in Chattanooga, Tennessee," 25 Apr. 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

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

Noun

see eclectic entry 1

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Statistics for eclectic

Last Updated

15 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

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- \

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 \ adverb

eclectic

noun

Medical Definition of eclectic (Entry 2 of 2)

: one who uses an eclectic method or approach

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