• synonyms


[ih-klek-tuh-siz-uh m]
  1. the use or advocacy of an eclectic method.
  2. a tendency in architecture and the decorative arts to mix various historical styles with modern elements with the aim of combining the virtues of many styles or increasing allusive content.
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Origin of eclecticism

First recorded in 1825–35; eclectic + -ism
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for eclecticism

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • On the contrary, our own gropings, eclecticism, and archaeology are the symptoms of impotence.

    The Sense of Beauty

    George Santayana

  • Hydropathy gives him fits, and eclecticism almost, lays him out.

  • He is recognized for the comprehensiveness and eclecticism of his approach.

  • But many Alsatians did not trust this eclecticism and this liberty.

  • They have failed, like all the juste-milieux of the world, and are laughed at for their eclecticism.

    What is Property?

    P. J. Proudhon

British Dictionary definitions for eclecticism


  1. an eclectic system or method
  2. the use or advocacy of such a system
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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 eclecticism


1798, from eclectic + -ism.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper