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Synonym Chooser

How is the word eccentric distinct from other similar adjectives?

Some common synonyms of eccentric are erratic, odd, outlandish, peculiar, quaint, singular, strange, and unique. While all these words mean "departing from what is ordinary, usual, or to be expected," eccentric suggests a wide divergence from the usual or normal especially in behavior.

the eccentric eating habits of preschoolers

When is erratic a more appropriate choice than eccentric?

While the synonyms erratic and eccentric are close in meaning, erratic stresses a capricious and unpredictable wandering or deviating.

a friend's suddenly erratic behavior

When is it sensible to use odd instead of eccentric?

While in some cases nearly identical to eccentric, odd applies to a departure from the regular or expected.

an odd sense of humor

Where would outlandish be a reasonable alternative to eccentric?

Although the words outlandish and eccentric have much in common, outlandish applies to what is uncouth, bizarre, or barbaric.

outlandish fashions of the time

When could peculiar be used to replace eccentric?

The meanings of peculiar and eccentric largely overlap; however, peculiar implies a marked distinctiveness.

the peculiar status of America's first lady

In what contexts can quaint take the place of eccentric?

In some situations, the words quaint and eccentric are roughly equivalent. However, quaint suggests an old-fashioned but pleasant oddness.

a quaint fishing village

When can singular be used instead of eccentric?

The words singular and eccentric can be used in similar contexts, but singular suggests individuality or puzzling strangeness.

a singular feeling of impending disaster

When would strange be a good substitute for eccentric?

The words strange and eccentric are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, strange stresses unfamiliarity and may apply to the foreign, the unnatural, the unaccountable.

a journey filled with strange sights

When might unique be a better fit than eccentric?

The synonyms unique and eccentric are sometimes interchangeable, but unique implies singularity and the fact of being without a known parallel.

a career unique in the annals of science


Thesaurus Entries Near eccentric

Cite this Entry

“Eccentric.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Jun. 2024.

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