peri·​pa·​tet·​ic | \ ˌper-ə-pə-ˈte-tik How to pronounce peripatetic (audio) \

Definition of peripatetic

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 capitalized : a follower of Aristotle or adherent of Aristotelianism
3 peripatetics\ ˌper-​ə-​pə-​ˈte-​tiks How to pronounce peripatetic (audio) \ 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

Other Words from peripatetic


peripatetically \ ˌper-​ə-​pə-​ˈte-​ti-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce peripatetic (audio) \ adverb
Peripateticism \ ˌper-​ə-​pə-​ˈte-​tə-​ˌsi-​zəm How to pronounce peripatetic (audio) \ 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

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: Adjective This peripatetic life perhaps accounts for the polyglot nature of his artistic career. Los Angeles Times, 12 May 2022 Even the peripatetic Novoselic got in on the action, with his alt-rock supertrio Eyes Adrift releasing their first (and only) album in September. Brad Shoup, Billboard, 24 Mar. 2022 Our youngest, who is adopted from China, attended three high schools during an especially peripatetic period in our family, and then chose a college in Pamplona, Spain. Arthur C. Brooks, The Atlantic, 10 Mar. 2022 The banking magnate’s death is said to have touched off a long, peripatetic journey for the timepiece, which eventually found its way into the hands of an enigmatic antiquities dealer in New York. Daniel Miller Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 9 Dec. 2021 The 52-year-old Glazer certainly leads a peripatetic schedule. Christian Red, Forbes, 26 Jan. 2022 The 55-year-old speaks in a faint, untraceable accent that hints at her peripatetic upbringing. Meredith Blake Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 20 Jan. 2022 But the improved road means a less peripatetic life, with less time spent on the lower-altitude winter pastures. Washington Post, 14 Jan. 2022 Typical of conductors, Ms. Mälkki leads a peripatetic life. Ronald Blum, The Christian Science Monitor, 12 Jan. 2022 See More

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.

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

Learn More About peripatetic

Time Traveler for peripatetic

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Listen to Our Podcast About peripatetic

Dictionary Entries Near peripatetic




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for peripatetic

Cite this Entry

“Peripatetic.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on peripatetic

Nglish: Translation of peripatetic for Spanish Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Name That Food

  • a-light
  • Name these cookies!
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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