peri·​pa·​tet·​ic | \ˌper-ə-pə-ˈte-tik \

Definition of peripatetic 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 capitalized : a follower of Aristotle or adherent of Aristotelianism

3 peripatetics\ ˌper-​ə-​pə-​ˈte-​tiks \ plural : movement or journeys hither and thither



Definition of peripatetic (Entry 2 of 2)

1 capitalized : aristotelian

2a : of, relating to, or given to walking

b : moving or traveling from place to place : itinerant

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Other Words from peripatetic


peripatetically \ ˌper-​ə-​pə-​ˈte-​ti-​k(ə-​)lē \ adverb
Peripateticism \ ˌper-​ə-​pə-​ˈte-​tə-​ˌsi-​zəm \ noun

Did You Know?


Are you someone who likes to think on your feet? If so, you've got something in common with the followers of the ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle. Not only a thinker and teacher, Aristotle was also a walker, and his students were required to walk along beside him as he lectured while pacing to and fro. Thus it was that the Greek word peripatētikos (from peripatein, meaning "to walk up and down") came to be associated with Aristotle and his followers. By the way, the covered walk in the Lyceum where Aristotle taught was known as the "peripatos" (which can either refer to the act of walking or a place for walking).

Examples of peripatetic in a Sentence


She worked as a peripatetic journalist for most of her life. He had a peripatetic career as a salesman.

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

The peripatetic life of an actor means that long distance is an inevitability for the duo. Christopher Wallenberg,, "A magic carpet ride onstage and off for the stars of ‘Aladdin’," 28 June 2018 His brief, but peripatetic résumé has informed his stump speeches, which are peppered with calls for bold reform. Lisa W. Foderaro, New York Times, "With G.O.P. Primary on Staten Island Over, Enter the Democrat," 29 June 2018 But their peripatetic lifestyles — back and forth between New York and Massachusetts, then getting on planes and trains for performances — felt increasingly untenable, especially for Wiancko. David Weininger,, "A musical haven with a vision — and a view — in Western Mass.," 20 June 2018 The peripatetic lifestyle of professional golfers, who spend 20 to 30 weeks a year on the road, places a premium on comfort, convenience and, in some cases, community. Karen Crouse, New York Times, "By Land or by Sea, U.S. Open Golfers Got Creative About Their Lodging," 16 June 2018 There, Prior helped revitalize the career of Olaf Kolzig, a peripatetic goaltender who spent the better half of his first eight years as a pro in the minors. Matt Rybaltowski, New York Times, "A Source of Fleury’s Success in Las Vegas? His New Goaltending Coach," 11 May 2018 So Yeh worked her magic, subtle as well as with capacity to startle, much to the satisfaction of a grateful composer and peripatetic audience. Alan Artner,, "CSO musicians perform contemporary chamber works keyed to Art Institute galleries," 8 May 2018 The peripatetic direction isn’t helpful, but the writing is often more pedagogic than naturalistic. David Wiegand, San Francisco Chronicle, "Nat Geo finds the ‘Genius’ in Picasso.," 20 Apr. 2018 The nostalgia draw for the Mariners’ season opener on Thursday night was supposed to be the return of Ichiro Suzuki, finally back in the Pacific Northwest after six years of peripatetic existence. Jon Tayler,, "The Old Félix Hernández Showed Up for the Mariners on Opening Day," 30 Mar. 2018

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


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for peripatetic


Middle French & Latin; Middle French peripatetique, from Latin peripateticus, from Greek peripatētikos, from peripatein to walk up and down, discourse while pacing (as did Aristotle), from peri- + patein to tread; akin to Sanskrit patha path — more at find

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The first known use of peripatetic was in the 15th century

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English Language Learners Definition of peripatetic

: going from place to place usually as part of your job

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Comments on peripatetic

What made you want to look up peripatetic? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to clear from alleged fault or guilt

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