Definition of eclectic

 (Entry 1 of 2)1: composed of elements drawn from various sources also : heterogeneous 2: selecting what appears to be best in various doctrines, methods, or styles

Definition of eclectic (Entry 2 of 2): one who uses a method or approach that is composed of elements drawn from various sources : one who uses an eclectic method or approach

Other Words from eclectic

Adjectiveeclectically \ i-​ˈklek-​ti-​k(ə-​)lē

How to pronounce eclectically (audio) , e-​ \ adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for eclectic

Synonyms: Adjective

assorted, heterogeneous, indiscriminate, kitchen-sink, magpie, miscellaneous, mixed, motley, patchwork, piebald, promiscuous, raggle-taggle, ragtag, varied

Antonyms: Adjective

Eclectic Has a Philosophical History

Adjective

Eclectic comes from a Greek verb meaning “to select” and was originally applied to ancient philosophers who were not committed to any single system of philosophy; instead, these philosophers 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.

Examples of eclectic in a Sentence

AdjectiveAll around us, fishers galumphed past.  … They carried an eclectic array of rods, nets, buckets and coolers.— Stephen C. Sautner, New York Times, 2 Apr. 2000 Her witty, mordant and splendidly vinegary observations were informed by broad and eclectic reading.— George F. Will, Newsweek, 24 May 1999 The polo crowd is eclectic and dangerously hagridden with narcissism and treachery, and that is the way they like it.— Hunter S. Thompson, Rolling Stone, 15 Dec. 1994 … big wheels of country bread and eclectic selections of pâtés, hams, cheeses, honey and all sorts of homemade cookies and sweets.— Per-Henrik Mansson, Wine Spectator, 28 Feb. 1993 The collection includes an eclectic mix of historical artifacts. the museum’s eclectic collection has everything from a giraffe skeleton to medieval musical instruments See More

First Known Use of eclectic

Adjective

1683, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Noun

1817, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for eclectic

Adjective

borrowed from Greek eklektikós “picking out, selecting what appears to be best,” from eklektós “picked out, select” (verbal adjective of eklégein “to pick out, select,” from ek- ec- + légein “to collect, gather, count, say”) + -ikos -ic entry 1 — more at legend

Noun

borrowed from Greek eklektikós “any of a group of philosophers who selected beliefs from a variety of schools of thought,” noun derivative of eklektikós eclectic entry 1

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