[pi-kyoo-lee-ar-i-tee, -kyool-yar-]
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noun, plural pe·cu·li·ar·i·ties.
  1. a trait, manner, characteristic, or habit that is odd or unusual.
  2. oddity; singularity; eccentricity.
  3. a distinguishing quality or characteristic.
  4. the quality or condition of being peculiar.

Origin of peculiarity

From the Late Latin word pecūliāritās, dating back to 1600–10. See peculiar, -ity

Synonyms for peculiarity

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1. idiosyncrasy. See eccentricity. 2. irregularity. 3. See feature. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for peculiarity


noun plural -ties
  1. a strange or unusual habit or characteristic
  2. a distinguishing trait, etc that is characteristic of a particular person; idiosyncrasy
  3. the state or quality of being peculiar
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 peculiarity

c.1600, "exclusive possession;" 1640s, "special characteristic," from peculiar + -ity, or else from Latin peculiaritas. Meaning "an oddity" is attested by 1777. Related: Peculiarities.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper