1 of 2


peri·​pa·​tet·​ic ˌper-ə-pə-ˈte-tik How to pronounce peripatetic (audio)
: of, relating to, or given to walking
: moving or traveling from place to place : itinerant
capitalized : aristotelian
peripatetically adverb
Peripateticism noun


2 of 2


peripatetics ˌper-ə-pə-ˈte-tiks How to pronounce peripatetic (audio) plural : movement or journeys hither and thither
capitalized : a follower of Aristotle or adherent of Aristotelianism

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

Adjective She worked as a peripatetic journalist for most of her life. He had a peripatetic career as a salesman.
Recent Examples on the Web
After moving to Boston, Ms. Porter lived a peripatetic life. Will Heinrich, New York Times, 15 May 2024 For these peripatetic characters, their rejection of the conventional world and search for a new identity ends in failure and, ultimately, their own deaths. Erik Morse, Vogue, 24 Apr. 2024 The release finds the singer a lifetime away from her peripatetic origins. Erin Osmon, Los Angeles Times, 2 Apr. 2024 Rather than being the hunter-gatherer type like the ancients, most move to herd animals (pastoral nomads) or sell goods and services (peripatetic nomads). Emilie Le Beau Lucchesi, Discover Magazine, 2 Dec. 2023 My destination was the Screen Door, a tiny ice-cream shop in Brooklyn’s Greenpoint that is currently serving as the host of Border Town, a peripatetic breakfast-taco pop-up. Helen Rosner, The New Yorker, 4 Feb. 2024 Moreover, relations with the BSO were souring over his peripatetic workload, and what had once seemed a magical association with the orchestra appeared increasingly stale. Tim Page, Washington Post, 9 Feb. 2024 Anne Edwards, a prodigious and peripatetic author who published best-selling books about the actresses Vivien Leigh and Katharine Hepburn as well as 14 other celebrity biographies, eight novels, three children’s books, two memoirs and one autobiography, died on Jan. 20 in Beverly Hills, Calif. Sam Roberts, New York Times, 31 Jan. 2024 The peripatetic lifestyle of the movie business, traveling the world to make and promote movies, suits Thomas just fine. Mark Olsen, Los Angeles Times, 29 Sep. 2023
Many forces conspire against the peripatetic. New York Times, 11 Dec. 2021 The peripatetic pinniped inspired two children’s books, including one with photos by Pulitzer Prize winner Stanley Forman. Jon Chesto,, 26 Dec. 2022

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'peripatetic.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



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

First Known Use


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 3

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


Dictionary Entries Near peripatetic

Cite this Entry

“Peripatetic.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


: going about from place to place : itinerant

More from Merriam-Webster on peripatetic

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!