/ek'seuhn tris"i tee, ek'sen-/, n., pl. eccentricities.
1. an oddity or peculiarity, as of conduct: an interesting man, known for his eccentricities.
2. the quality of being eccentric.
3. the amount by which something is eccentric.
4. Mach. the distance between the centers of two cylindrical objects one of which surrounds the other, as between an eccentric and the shaft on which it is mounted.
5. Math. a constant expressed as the ratio of the distance from a point on a conic to a focus and the distance from the point to the directrix.
[1545-55; < ML eccentricitas, equiv. to eccentric- (see ECCENTRIC) + -itas -ITY]
Syn. 2. queerness, strangeness, oddness, freakishness, aberration. ECCENTRICITY, PECULIARITY, QUIRK, IDIOSYNCRASY all refer to some noticeable deviation in behavior, style, or manner from what is normal or expected. ECCENTRICITY usually suggests a mildly amusing but harmless characteristic or style: a whimsical eccentricity in choice of clothing. PECULIARITY is the most general of these words, referring to almost any perceptible oddity or departure from any norm: the peculiarity of his eyelashes, of the weather.
QUIRK often refers to a minor, unimportant kind of oddity: Her one quirk was a habit of speaking to strangers in elevators. Sometimes QUIRK has overtones of strangeness: sexual quirks. IDIOSYNCRASY refers to a variation in behavior or manner exclusive to or characteristic of a single individual: idiosyncrasies of style that irritated editors but often delighted readers.

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Universalium. 2010.


Look at other dictionaries:

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  • eccentricity — 1540s, of planetary orbits; 1650s, of persons (an instance of eccentricity); 1794, of persons (a quality of eccentricity); from ECCENTRIC (Cf. eccentric) + ITY (Cf. ity). Related: Eccentricities …   Etymology dictionary

  • eccentricity — eccentricity, idiosyncrasy are not always clearly distinguished when they denote an act, a practice, or a characteristic that impresses the observer as strange or singular. Eccentricity (compare STRANGE) emphasizes the idea of divergence from the …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • Eccentricity — Ec cen*tric i*ty, n.; pl. {Eccentricities}. [Cf. F. excentricit[ e].] 1. The state of being eccentric; deviation from the customary line of conduct; oddity. [1913 Webster] 2. (Math.) The ratio of the distance between the center and the focus of… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • eccentricity — index irregularity, nonconformity, quirk (idiosyncrasy), specialty (distinctive mark) Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton …   Law dictionary

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  • eccentricity — [ek΄sen tris′ə tē, ek΄səntris′ə tē] n. pl. eccentricities [see ECCENTRIC] 1. the state, quality, or amount of being eccentric 2. a) deviation from what is ordinary or customary, as in conduct or manner; oddity; unconventionality b) an eccentric… …   English World dictionary

  • eccentricity — [[t]e̱ksentrɪ̱sɪti[/t]] eccentricities 1) N UNCOUNT Eccentricity is unusual behaviour that other people consider strange. He was known as Mad Shelley partly because of his eccentricity and partly because of his violent temper... She is unusual to …   English dictionary

  • eccentricity — UK [ˌeksenˈtrɪsətɪ] / US noun Word forms eccentricity : singular eccentricity plural eccentricities a) [uncountable] strange or unusual behaviour Mrs Morton was well known for her eccentricity. b) [countable] an idea, action, or habit that is… …   English dictionary

  • eccentricity — ec•cen•tric•i•ty [[t]ˌɛk sənˈtrɪs ɪ ti, ˌɛk sɛn [/t]] n. pl. ties 1) an oddity or peculiarity, as of conduct 2) the quality of being eccentric 3) the amount by which something is eccentric 4) math. a mathematical constant expressed as the ratio… …   From formal English to slang

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