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

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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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Two zebras that escaped from a suburban Chicago pumpkin farm had travelers on a state highway doing double takes as the exotic animals hit the road during their brief taste of freedom. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, 8 Oct. 2021 The infections are linked to a large seafood market where it is believed some exotic animals were also sold for consumption. Eric Reinhart, STAT, 5 Oct. 2021 Pearce says the find has encouraged researchers to reexamine a fourth-century mosaic found in North Yorkshire in 1933 that features a lion and other exotic animals. Livia Gershon, Smithsonian Magazine, 13 Aug. 2021 The virus is believed to have jumped from an animal population to humans who had been to a market that sold exotic animals for consumption in December or possibly earlier. oregonlive, 11 Aug. 2021 If reptiles and other exotic animals are your thing, this is the expo for you. Anchorage Daily News, 5 Aug. 2021 Wildlife Park provides sanctuary for hundreds of exotic animals and features dozens of large predators. Roger Naylor, The Arizona Republic, 23 Sep. 2021 One of the biggest Netflix productions ever is returning later this year, after giving us a totally bonkers first season of murder-for-hire, exotic animals, and more. Andy Meek, BGR, 23 Sep. 2021 The zebra’s owner has a permit from the United States Department of Agriculture to keep the exotic animals on his property, Prince George’s County officials told the newspaper, but warned residents zebras can be dangerous. Carlie Porterfield, Forbes, 10 Sep. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun 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 But there’s eye candy, including exotics, which are roped off, and the chance to get up close and personal with the latest current models, everything from Ford to Jaguar to Cadillac to Toyota. Eric D. Lawrence, Detroit Free Press, 4 Jan. 2020

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.

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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

11 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Exotic.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/exotic. Accessed 16 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for exotic



English Language Learners Definition of exotic

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: very different, strange, or unusual
: not living or growing naturally in a particular area : from another part of the world



English Language Learners Definition of exotic (Entry 2 of 2)

: a plant or animal that does not live or grow naturally in a particular area


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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