ex·​ot·​ic | \ ig-ˈzä-tik How to pronounce exotic (audio) \

Definition of exotic

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : introduced from another country : not native to the place where found exotic plants exotic species creating havoc when introduced into new environments.Chemical & Engineering News
2 : strikingly, excitingly, or mysteriously different or unusual exotic flavors Until very recently the alpaca was an exotic sight at county fairs and petting zoos in the metropolitan region.— Glenn Collins
3 : of or relating to striptease : involving or featuring exotic dancers exotic dancing an exotic nightclub
4 archaic : foreign, alien


plural exotics

Definition of exotic (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : one (such as a plant or animal) that is exotic

Other Words from exotic


exotically \ ig-​ˈzä-​ti-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce exotic (audio) \ adverb
exoticness \ ig-​ˈzä-​tik-​nəs How to pronounce exotic (audio) \ noun

Examples of exotic in a Sentence

Adjective She's known for her exotic tastes. the gradual disappearance of exotic lands in a culturally homogenized world Noun Some native species are being crowded out by exotics. the botanical garden boasts an array of horticultural exotics from around the world
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Here, nature is abundant, and thanks to a microclimate, exotic plants and vegetables are plentiful. Rooksana Hossenally, Forbes, 8 Aug. 2022 The species, which can reach lengths of 20 feet, is indigenous to southeast Asia, and is thought to have slithered their way into the Everglades in the 1990s via the exotic pet trade. Bill Kearney, Sun Sentinel, 5 Aug. 2022 Like a taxonomist identifying a rare and exotic species, his rigorous observation allowed his audience to see a rose as a rose but from a new angle, a fresh and particular point of view—a Penn portrait, perhaps. Robin Muir, Vogue, 4 Aug. 2022 Giuliani, after all, wasn’t simply traveling on Firtash’s dime to simply add some exotic names to his baggage claims. Casey Michel, The New Republic, 4 Aug. 2022 The work also added to traditions in European art of equating slavery with Black racial identity, displaying people vanquished by conquering powers, and depicting Black women as exotic and erotically desirable. Steven Litt, cleveland, 17 Apr. 2022 In her tours around the country, she was seen as exotic in her customs and bound feet. Domenica Bongiovanni, The Indianapolis Star, 14 Apr. 2022 Part of the origin of the entire Tiki craze was that rum was always regarded as a cheap and second-tier spirit; a focus on rum cocktails was seen as exotic, subversive and new. Jason O'bryan, Robb Report, 14 Apr. 2022 On Arrakis, Villeneuve’s wide angles and experimental exposure cast the desert planet as exotic and alien, but it’s Zimmer’s score — with all those trilling women’s voices and MENA folk rhythms — that hammers the notion over viewers’ heads. Roxana Hadadi, Vulture, 30 Oct. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun In the event that August’s Monterey Car Week auctions present too long a wait, the Bonhams sale at the Palace Hotel in Gstaad, Switzerland, on July 3 offers lovers of big 1960s-era GTs some interesting ways to scratch one’s itch for an old exotic. Robert Ross, Robb Report, 6 June 2022 The show will move on to a different exotic-to-white-people location, presumably with new people of colour to disappear into the background of The Real Story. Brooke Obie, refinery29.com, 22 Aug. 2021 New words seemed to appear all the time — from the exotic-sounding to the common. Anchorage Daily News, 11 Apr. 2021 Early cars can be plagued with other gremlins, and maintenance history, as with any exotic of the era, is essential in establishing value. Robert Ross, Robb Report, 29 Mar. 2021 Asian giant hornets could also have deadly impacts on pollinators like native bee species, many of which are already suffering from competition with other exotics, Looney says. National Geographic, 4 May 2020 Use both in exotics along with Winning Impression and My Friends Beer. Los Angeles Times, 1 May 2020 Azaleas fall into two camps: Natives are indigenous to parts of the U.S. and lose their leaves in winter; exotics are evergreens that come primarily from Japan, and most are hybrids. Southern Living Editors, Southern Living, 22 May 2020 But the couple did not share his passion and shipped off some of his exotics to the Jardin des Plantes, the national botanical garden in Paris, where their descendants flourish today. Kathleen Beckett, New York Times, 6 Apr. 2020 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'exotic.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of exotic


1600, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1670, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for exotic


Latin exoticus, from Greek exōtikos, from exō

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Last Updated

12 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Exotic.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/exotic. Accessed 12 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for exotic


ex·​ot·​ic | \ ig-ˈzä-tik How to pronounce exotic (audio) \

Kids Definition of exotic

1 : very different, strange, or unusual
2 : introduced from another country : not native exotic plants

More from Merriam-Webster on exotic

Nglish: Translation of exotic for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of exotic for Arabic Speakers


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