- deviating from the recognized or customary character, practice, etc.; irregular; erratic; peculiar; odd: eccentric conduct; an eccentric person.
- Geometry. not having the same center; not concentric: used especially of two circles or spheres at least one of which contains the centers of both.
- (of an axis, axle, etc.) not situated in the center.
- Machinery. having the axis or support away from the center: an eccentric wheel.
- Astronomy. deviating from a circular form, as an elliptic orbit.
- a person who has an unusual, peculiar, or odd personality, set of beliefs, or behavior pattern.
- something that is unusual, peculiar, or odd.
- Machinery. a device for converting circular motion into rectilinear motion, consisting of a disk fixed somewhat off-center to a revolving shaft, and working freely in a surrounding collar (eccentric strap), to which a rod (eccentric rod) is attached.
Origin of eccentric
SynonymsSee more synonyms for eccentric on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for eccentric
Sometimes I wear my silk pyjamas when I am going for a walk in the mornings, does that make me eccentric?The Death of the English Eccentric
November 25, 2014
She was one of the wealthiest women in the world and certainly the most eccentric noble of her time.Adiós to the Diva Duchess
Barbie Latza Nadeau
November 20, 2014
One of my most important mentors was a brilliant and eccentric rabbi from Bethesda, Maryland.Fixing a Dysfunctional Family: Congress
November 9, 2014
The women Peterson photographed were offbeat, eccentric, irreverent, and not conventionally pretty.Gosta Peterson's Bohemian Rhapsody: Unpacking a Photographer's '60s Secrets
September 10, 2014
Those who have interacted with him describe him as brusque, eccentric, clenched.Meet the Beer Bottle Dictator
August 12, 2014
Eccentric, they call me; as if Nature and beauty were abnormal!The Bacillus of Beauty
I was wearing the eccentric costume of an Englishwoman in the year 1820.My Double Life
Eccentric she was, as I afterward found—as I thought when I first saw her.The First Violin
"No, but I was wondering about the condition of the roads," replied the eccentric man.Tom Swift and his Electric Runabout
A groove should be cut in the surface of the eccentric, so that this strap will not slip off.Boys' Book of Model Boats
Raymond Francis Yates
- deviating or departing from convention, esp in a bizarre manner; irregular or odd
- situated away from the centre or the axis
- not having a common centreeccentric circles Compare concentric
- not precisely circular
- a person who deviates from normal forms of behaviour, esp in a bizarre manner
- a device for converting rotary motion to reciprocating motion
Word Origin and History for eccentric
early 15c., "eccentric circle or orbit," originally a term in Ptolemaic astronomy, "circle or orbit not having the Earth precisely at its center," from Middle French eccentrique and directly from Medieval Latin eccentricus (noun and adjective), from Greek ekkentros "out of the center" (as opposed to concentric), from ek "out" (see ex-) + kentron "center" (see center (n.)). Meaning "odd or whimsical person" attested by 1824.
June 4 .--Died in the streets in Newcastle, William Barron, an eccentric, well known for many years by the name of Billy Pea-pudding. [John Sykes, "Local Records, or Historical Register of Remarkable Events which have Occurred Exclusively in the Counties of Durham and Northumberland, Town and County of Newcastle Upon Tyne, and Berwick Upon Tweed," Newcastle, 1824]
1550s, from Middle French eccentrique and directly from Medieval Latin eccentricus (noun and adjective; see eccentric (n.)). Figurative sense of "odd, whimsical" first recorded 1620s.
- Departing from a recognized, conventional, or established norm or pattern.
- Situated or proceeding away from the center.
- A person of odd or unconventional behavior.