[ek-suh n-tris-i-tee, ek-sen-]
- an oddity or peculiarity, as of conduct: an interesting man, known for his eccentricities.
- the quality of being eccentric.
- the amount by which something is eccentric.
- Machinery. the distance between the centers of two cylindrical objects one of which surrounds the other, as between an eccentric and the shaft on which it is mounted.
- Mathematics. a constant expressed as the ratio of the distance from a point on a conic to a focus and the distance from the point to the directrix.
Origin of eccentricity
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
2. queerness, strangeness, oddness, freakishness, aberration. Eccentricity, peculiarity, quirk, idiosyncrasy all refer to some noticeable deviation in behavior, style, or manner from what is normal or expected. Eccentricity usually suggests a mildly amusing but harmless characteristic or style: a whimsical eccentricity in choice of clothing. Peculiarity is the most general of these words, referring to almost any perceptible oddity or departure from any norm: the peculiarity of his eyelashes, of the weather. Quirk often refers to a minor, unimportant kind of oddity: Her one quirk was a habit of speaking to strangers in elevators. Sometimes quirk has overtones of strangeness: sexual quirks. Idiosyncrasy refers to a variation in behavior or manner exclusive to or characteristic of a single individual: idiosyncrasies of style that irritated editors but often delighted readers.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for eccentricity
But Jenkins concedes that eccentricity is not what it once was.The Death of the English Eccentric
November 25, 2014
Both his genius and his eccentricity are on full display in the Declaration of Independence.Companies Discover Untapped Brainpower: Autistics
July 21, 2013
“I adore them, I find them so hilarious, full of eccentricity, and full of faults,” she tells The Daily Beast in French.French Fixture Cléo Le-Tan Releases a Novel About Her Family
May 22, 2013
The most interesting part of eccentricity may be just how wasteful it usually is.The World According to an Eccentric
April 26, 2013
It is brought down too a caricature, forgetting her eccentricity, her innovative fabrics, even a certain sense of purity.Report: Christian Lacroix Will Create Special Couture Collection for Schiaparelli
Misty White Sidell
April 17, 2013
The female sex is not often guilty of this eccentricity, but instances have been known.
His eccentricity was a combination of absent-mindedness and irritability.The Confessions of a Caricaturist, Vol. 1 (of 2)
Not unless you are very, very rich; then it might be considered an eccentricity.Cap'n Warren's Wards
Joseph C. Lincoln
She was a born mimic, and could hit off to a hair an eccentricity or an affectation.The Christian
Not that she was tired of it; on the contrary, she hoped everything from Ted's eccentricity.Audrey Craven
- unconventional or irregular behaviour
- deviation from a circular path or orbit
- a measure of the noncircularity of an elliptical orbit, the distance between the foci divided by the length of the major axis
- geometry a number that expresses the shape of a conic section: the ratio of the distance of a point on the curve from a fixed point (the focus) to the distance of the point from a fixed line (the directrix)
- the degree of displacement of the geometric centre of a rotating part from the true centre, esp of the axis of rotation of a wheel or shaft
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Word Origin and History for eccentricity
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
- A measure of the deviation of an elliptical path, especially an orbit, from a perfect circle. It is equal to the ratio of the distance between the foci of the ellipse to the length of the major axis of the ellipse (the distance between the two points farthest apart on the ellipse). Eccentricity ranges from zero (for a perfect circle) to values approaching 1 (highly elongated ellipses).
- The ratio of the distance of any point on a conic section from a focus to its distance from the corresponding directrix. This ratio is constant for any particular conic section.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.