Synonym Chooser

How is the word erratic distinct from other similar adjectives?

Some common synonyms of erratic are eccentric, odd, outlandish, peculiar, quaint, singular, strange, and unique. While all these words mean "departing from what is ordinary, usual, or to be expected," erratic stresses a capricious and unpredictable wandering or deviating.

a friend's suddenly erratic behavior

When is eccentric a more appropriate choice than erratic?

The words eccentric and erratic are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, eccentric suggests a wide divergence from the usual or normal especially in behavior.

the eccentric eating habits of preschoolers

When can odd be used instead of erratic?

The meanings of odd and erratic largely overlap; however, odd applies to a departure from the regular or expected.

an odd sense of humor

When could outlandish be used to replace erratic?

The words outlandish and erratic can be used in similar contexts, but outlandish applies to what is uncouth, bizarre, or barbaric.

outlandish fashions of the time

Where would peculiar be a reasonable alternative to erratic?

Although the words peculiar and erratic have much in common, peculiar implies a marked distinctiveness.

the peculiar status of America's first lady

In what contexts can quaint take the place of erratic?

While in some cases nearly identical to erratic, quaint suggests an old-fashioned but pleasant oddness.

a quaint fishing village

When might singular be a better fit than erratic?

In some situations, the words singular and erratic are roughly equivalent. However, singular suggests individuality or puzzling strangeness.

a singular feeling of impending disaster

When would strange be a good substitute for erratic?

While the synonyms strange and erratic are close in meaning, strange stresses unfamiliarity and may apply to the foreign, the unnatural, the unaccountable.

a journey filled with strange sights

When is it sensible to use unique instead of erratic?

The synonyms unique and erratic 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 erratic

Cite this Entry

“Erratic.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Dec. 2023.

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