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

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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 The menu at Mace — which has been designated as one of the World’s 50 Best Bars for three years in a row — was indeed inspired by De Soto’s peripatetic appetite over the years. Michelle Gross, Forbes, 31 May 2021 His peripatetic career included stints as a TV and cable host; in radio, advertising, public relations, newspaper reporting, freelance writing and copy editing; and as an author. Frederick N. Rasmussen,, 9 May 2021 After a peripatetic career that included Army service, college in Seattle and a decade as a classics professor, Mr. Stokes returned to Washington in the early 1970s. Washington Post, 4 May 2021 His effort in Nepal is just the latest literary rescue mission for the world’s most renowned, prolific and peripatetic manuscript conservationist. Joshua Hammer, Smithsonian Magazine, 20 May 2021 When the starting center Mitchell Robinson went down, the peripatetic young veteran Nerlens Noel stepped up. Harvey Araton, New York Times, 9 May 2021 The sky was crowded with bald eagles and the estuary thick with red-flowering currants and peripatetic hummingbirds -- all within the noise of Interstate 5, about 50 miles south of Seattle. Arkansas Online, 2 May 2021 The peripatetic former astronaut went on to get a business degree from Harvard University, became president of an aerospace company in 1980, and later opened a consulting firm before retiring in the late 1990s. Nathan Wurtzel, Washington Examiner, 29 Apr. 2021 Boone lived a remarkably long and peripatetic life. Peter Cozzens, WSJ, 20 Apr. 2021

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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Time Traveler for peripatetic

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

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Cite this Entry

“Peripatetic.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Jun. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of peripatetic

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

More from Merriam-Webster on peripatetic

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for peripatetic

Nglish: Translation of peripatetic for Spanish Speakers


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