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 Ahead of the previous IPO attempt, investors were confused by Endeavor’s eclectic mix of assets (MMA, bull riding, talent representation). Ryan Faughnder, Los Angeles Times, "Spanish-speaking audiences are a huge streaming market. Do media companies understand it?," 4 May 2021 Along with the two nightly headliners, the lineup features an eclectic mix of pop, rock, soul, country, and Americana artists. Joseph Hudak, Rolling Stone, "The Black Keys, Maren Morris, Morgan Wade Set for 2021 Pilgrimage Festival," 28 Apr. 2021 Virginia—with husband Jhovanny Hernandez, daughter Sienna, and pups Wolfgang and Tate, plans to share her eclectic mix of flea market and consignment shop finds. Jennifer Fernandez, Better Homes & Gardens, "Upbeat Colors and Rehabbed Rescues Take This 1920s New Jersey Foursquare from Basic to Bold," 23 Apr. 2021 Loudspeakers blast an eclectic mix of music – from godfather of soul James Brown to the rapper Saweetie – playing in sync with flashing multicolored lights. Michelle Ailport, The Arizona Republic, "Valley roller skaters adapt during pandemic, embrace community to overcome adversity," 21 Apr. 2021 Facing the front doors, a large, handsome lobby bar stocked with an eclectic mix of top-tier liquors was a welcome spot to grab a drink during my stay, but my ultimate slice of relaxation was undoubtedly found on the hotel's wrap-around rooftop. Dan Koday, Travel + Leisure, "Travel Booking Site Kayak Just Opened Its First Hotel — Here’s What It’s Like," 19 Apr. 2021 In a sign of frothiness, SPAC sponsors include an eclectic mix of businesspeople, sports stars and even the son of Martin Luther King. The Economist, "What is a SPAC?," 12 Apr. 2021 The boutique, which offers an eclectic mix of unique gifts, one-of-a-kind jewelry and accessories, contemporary decor and fine art, also has a location in New Albany at 234 Pearl St., which will remain open. Emma Austin, The Courier-Journal, "Popular downtown gift and art boutique is closing its doors after 20 years in Louisville," 1 Apr. 2021 The park, an eclectic mix of thrill rides and animal exhibits, is open Thursday and Friday for season pass holders only. Steve Rubenstein, San Francisco Chronicle, "What it's like to ride thrill rides again as Bay Area's Six Flags reopens," 1 Apr. 2021 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

10 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Eclectic.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/eclectic. Accessed 10 May. 2021.

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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 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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