1 : composed of elements drawn from various sources; also : heterogeneous
2 : selecting what appears to be best in various doctrines, methods, or styles
Did You Know?
Eclectic comes from the Greek eklektikos (meaning "selective"), from the verb eklegein, "to select." Eclectic was originally applied to ancient philosophers who were not committed to any single system of philosophy but instead selected whichever doctrines pleased them from every school of thought. Later, the word's use broadened to cover other selective natures. "Hard by, the central slab is thick with books / Diverse, but which the true eclectic mind / Knows how to group, and gather out of each / Their frequent wisdoms...." In this 19th century example from a poem by Arthur Joseph Munby, for example, the word is applied to literature lovers who cull selective works from libraries.
The new downtown restaurant offers an eclectic menu of items at reasonable prices.
"Since December 2016, including the most recent property deal, Google has now spent at least $237 million buying an eclectic array of industrial and retail sites, vacant lots, and even residential properties." — George Avalos, The Mercury News (San Jose, California), 3 Dec. 2018
Test Your Vocabulary with M-W Quizzes
Word Family Quiz
Fill in the blanks to complete a word for a poem in which shepherds converse that is related to the Greek verb eklegein (meaning "to select"): e _ l _ _ ue.VIEW THE ANSWER
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