She listens to hip-hop, Gregorian chant, and folk music from the ’60s. He’s been seen wearing a handmade tuxedo jacket over a thrift-store flannel shirt. They both have eclectic tastes.

The English word eclectic first appeared in the seventeenth century to describe philosophers who did not belong to a particular school of thought, but instead assembled their doctrines by picking and choosing from a variety of philosophical systems. Today, the word can refer to any assemblage of varied parts. You can have an eclectic group of friends (friends from diverse groups), eclectic taste in furniture (a mixture of 18th-century French chairs, Andy Warhol paintings, and Persian rugs), or enjoy eclectic cuisine (fusion cooking that uses ingredients from different national cuisines).

Definitions of eclectic
  1. adjective

    selecting what seems best of various styles or ideas



    showing or indicating careful judgment and discernment especially in matters of taste
  2. noun

    someone who selects according to the eclectic method

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    type of:


    a specialist in philosophy

Word Family