pe·​cu·​liar·​i·​ty | \ pi-ˌkyül-ˈyer-ə-tē How to pronounce peculiarity (audio) , -ˈya-rə-; -ˌkyü-lē-ˈer-ə-, -ˈa-rə- \
plural peculiarities

Definition of peculiarity

1 : the quality or state of being peculiar
2 : a distinguishing characteristic
3 : oddity, quirk

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Examples of peculiarity in a Sentence

the peculiarity of his appearance It is a peculiarity of the house that there is no front door. her peculiarities as a writer Scientists tried to explain some peculiarities in the results of the experiment.
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Recent Examples on the Web The Klamath Basin and the river that flows from it is a bit of a geographic peculiarity. oregonlive, 3 June 2021 Overall, people seemed to respond positively to just about any peculiarity or distinctive characteristic, reports Allyson Waller for the New York Times. Elizabeth Gamillo, Smithsonian Magazine, 4 May 2021 But for all the money and intricacies involved in such a sweeping decision, there’s one peculiarity that everyone will have to get used to: an odd number of games. Andrew Beaton, WSJ, 30 Mar. 2021 Perino has tapped into a peculiarity of Oregon’s vaccination distribution system: The Oregon Health Authority has not allocated all of its vaccines evenly across counties. oregonlive, 18 Mar. 2021 In what is either an example of the intersection's peculiarity or just unfortunate timing, a Google Street View camera captured a crash in the intersection when driving by in August 2019. Ethan May, The Indianapolis Star, 11 Mar. 2021 But there was a peculiarity in the data: in more than forty per cent of pre-pandemic samples, the researchers found evidence that the new coronavirus was somehow triggering a T-cell response. Siddhartha Mukherjee, The New Yorker, 22 Feb. 2021 Experiments like these concluded that long-distance migrations required herculean efforts, reinforcing presumptions about their peculiarity. New York Times, 12 Jan. 2021 In 1916, Virginia Woolf wrote about a peculiarity that runs through all real works of art. Jenny Offill, The New Yorker, 29 Dec. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'peculiarity.' 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 peculiarity

1606, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Learn More About peculiarity

Time Traveler for peculiarity

Time Traveler

The first known use of peculiarity was in 1606

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Statistics for peculiarity

Last Updated

7 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Peculiarity.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for peculiarity



English Language Learners Definition of peculiarity

: the quality or state of being unusual or peculiar
: something that is unusual or peculiar in a person or thing


pe·​cu·​li·​ar·​i·​ty | \ pi-ˌkyü-lē-ˈer-ə-tē How to pronounce peculiarity (audio) \
plural peculiarities

Kids Definition of peculiarity

1 : something odd or individual All of us have some peculiarities.
2 : the quality or state of being odd or individual


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