from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun An eclectic system or method.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The method of the eclectics, or a system, as of philosophy, medicine, etc., made up of selections from various systems.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun Theory or practice of an eclectic.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun The quality of being eclectic
  • noun philosophy An approach to thought that draws upon multiple theories to gain complementary insights into phenomena
  • noun art Any form of art that borrows from multiple other styles

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun making decisions on the basis of what seems best instead of following some single doctrine or style


Sorry, no etymologies found.


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  • But today, musical eclecticism is the norm, and in the current production, conducted with authority by Jayce Ogren and directed with acuity by Christopher Alden, the opera feels like one brilliantly composed piece.

    Catching Up to Bernstein

  • The word eclecticism has been used so much for the last 30 years that it has become meaningless - a sad, grasping pile of obstruents and sibilants, like a dying fire's last pops and hisses.

    NYT > Home Page

  • But if the eclecticism is a convenient and agreeable attitude for its champions, it is, like hybridism, sterile, and neither life nor science owe anything to it.

    Socialism and Modern Science (Darwin, Spencer, Marx)

  • The eclecticism is a satellite shot of the weather inside my skull; the style shifts freely from classical to rock to R&B and more, and it all feels natural to me.

    NYT > Home Page

  • The eclecticism is a satellite shot of the weather inside my skull; the style shifts freely from classical to rock to R&B and more, and it all feels natural to me.

    NYT > Home Page

  • Responding to the "eclecticism" of contemporary trends in art, his goal was to merge the arts under the wing of architecture.

    Celebrating the Bauhaus at 90

  • The use of concepts such as hybridity easily degenerates into a kind of eclecticism that gestures at radical resistance while denying the theoretical basis of any theory of revolutionary change.


  • It is this period of eclecticism which is reflected for us in the philosophical writings of Cicero.

    The Legacy of Greece Essays By: Gilbert Murray, W. R. Inge, J. Burnet, Sir T. L. Heath, D'arcy W. Thompson, Charles Singer, R. W. Livingston, A. Toynbee, A. E. Zimmern, Percy Gardner, Sir Reginald Blomfield

  • -- As might be expected to happen, and as always happens, the multiplicity of sects brought about two tendencies, one consisting in selecting somewhat arbitrarily from each sect what one found best in it, which is called "eclecticism," the other in thinking that no school grasped the truth, that the truth is not to be grasped, which is called "scepticism."

    Initiation into Philosophy

  • 'Marino Faliero' was the first of his productions in which, relinquishing the so-called classic rules, he endeavored, as a French critic fitly remarks, to introduce a kind of eclecticism in stage literature; a bold attempt, tempered with prudent reserve, in which he wisely combined the processes favored by the new school with current tradition.

    Library of the World's Best Literature, Ancient and Modern — Volume 11


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