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See more synonyms for exotic on Thesaurus.com
  1. of foreign origin or character; not native; introduced from abroad, but not fully naturalized or acclimatized: exotic foods; exotic plants.
  2. strikingly unusual or strange in effect or appearance: an exotic hairstyle.
  3. of a uniquely new or experimental nature: exotic weapons.
  4. of, relating to, or involving stripteasing: the exotic clubs where strippers are featured.
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  1. something that is exotic: The flower show included several tropical exotics with showy blooms.
  2. an exotic dancer; a striptease dancer or belly dancer.
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Origin of exotic

1590–1600; < Latin exōticus < Greek exōtikós foreign. See exo-, -tic
Related formsex·ot·i·cal·ly, adverbex·ot·ic·ness, nounnon·ex·ot·ic, adjectivenon·ex·ot·i·cal·ly, adverbun·ex·ot·ic, adjectiveun·ex·ot·i·cal·ly, adverb
Can be confusederotic erratic exotic
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for exotically

Historical Examples

  • Her voice was as exotically attractive as the rest of her; low, clear, a little throaty.

    Mask of Death

    Paul Ernst

  • And we saw or heard about the exotically named preprocessed and prepackaged food, about the pastimes of the troops.

  • Exotically lovely she was, with primitive, unrestrained passions—typical of the land in which she lived.

  • The original is certainly one of the most exotically strange pieces of writing in any language, and weird beyond description.

British Dictionary definitions for exotically


  1. originating in a foreign country, esp one in the tropics; not nativean exotic plant
  2. having a strange or bizarre allure, beauty, or quality
  3. NZ (of trees, esp pine trees) native to the northern hemisphere but cultivated in New Zealandan exotic forest
  4. of or relating to striptease
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  1. an exotic person or thing
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Derived Formsexotically, adverbexoticism, nounexoticness, noun

Word Origin

C16: from Latin exōticus, from Greek exōtikos foreign, from exō outside
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 exotically



1590s, "belonging to another country," from Middle French exotique (16c.) and directly from Latin exoticus, from Greek exotikos "foreign," literally "from the outside," from exo "outside" (see exo-). Sense of "unusual, strange" first recorded in English 1620s, from notion of "alien, outlandish." In reference to strip-teasers and dancing girls, it is first attested by 1942, American English.

Exotic dancer in the nightclub trade means a girl who goes through a few motions while wearing as few clothes as the cops will allow in the city where she is working ... ["Life," May 5, 1947]

As a noun from 1640s.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper