- In ancient use, the distinguishing epithet of a class of philosophers who neither attached themselves to any recognized school, nor constructed independent systems, but 'selected such doctrines as pleased them in every school'; ... Diogenes Laertius speaks of an 'eclectic sect' founded by Potamon of Alexandria in the second century... In modern times this designation has been ... given to or assumed by various philosophers ...; and it is also applied to those who combine elements derived from diverse systems of opinion or practice in any science or art.
- That borrows or is borrowed from diverse sources. Also, of persons or personal attributes: Unfettered by narrow system in matters of taste or practice; broad, not exclusive, in matters of taste.
- An adherent of the Eclectic school of philosophy.
- One who follows the electic method; one who finds points of agreement with diverse parties or schools.
Eclectical = Eclectic
Hence Eclectically, in an eclectic manner.
Eclecticism: The eclectic philosophy; the eclectic method applied to speculation or practice.
Eclecticize: To treat in an eclectic method; to make selections from.
- The Eclectick sect, which was begun by Potamon.
John Dryden, 1683
- By certain ... Eclectics, who ... choose whatever is most plausible.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge, 1817
- What is a man but a finer ... landscape than the horizon figures, nature's eclecticism?
Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1841-4
- With ... an eclectic turn of mind, Mr. Vavasour saw something good in everybody.
Benjamin Disraeli, 1847
- The Eclectical system [in Art] that of choosing the best points out of a multitude of fine forms.
R. Patterson, 1862
- A fascinating variety of great old things.
Brian Cegelski of Revivals on Adams, right now
Affectionately adapted from, and inspired by, the grand Oxford English Dictionary.