1 a : deviating from conventional or accepted usage or conduct especially in odd or whimsical ways
b : deviating from an established or usual pattern or style
2 a : deviating from a circular path; especially : elliptical
b : located elsewhere than at the geometric center; also : having the axis or support so located
Did You Know?
Eccentric comes to us through Middle English from the Medieval Latin word eccentricus, but it is ultimately derived from a combination of the Greek words ex, meaning "out of," and kentron, meaning "center." The original meaning of eccentric in English was "not having the same center" (as in "eccentric spheres"). In this sense, it contrasts with concentric, meaning "having a common center" (as in "concentric circles," one within another). But since the 17th century, English speakers have also used eccentric to describe those who are figuratively off-center. It can also be used to describe something that doesn't follow a truly circular path, as in "an eccentric orbit."
"Nothing is more eccentric in our egocentric world than generosity." — Filip Noterdaeme, quoted in The New York Times, 7 June 2018
"Charlie has the eccentric habit of making a clucking sound that signifies everything and nothing. It's part of the film's unsettling sound design, which composer Colin Stetson ratchets up to full creep mode with a soundtrack that freezes the heart." — Peter Howell, The Toronto Star, 8 June 2018
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