Meaning of heteroclite in English:


Pronunciation /ˈhɛt(ə)rə(ʊ)klʌɪt/


  • Abnormal or irregular.

    ‘the book suffers from the heteroclite and ill-fitting nature of its various elements’
    • ‘In America on the other hand, immigrant publics, with weakened connexions to heteroclite pasts, could only be aggregated by narrative and visual schemas stripped to their most abstract, recursive common denominators.’
    • ‘His objection to Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics lies in its lack of uniform argument or quality: ‘It is heteroclite, a hodge-podge of astute comment and utter bosh’.’
    • ‘Lefebvre's Marxism was heteroclite, and was heavily informed via his engagement with other thinkers.’
    unorthodox, unconventional, non-standard, unusual, uncommon, unwonted, out of the ordinary, radical, revolutionary, nonconformist, unconforming, irregular, offbeat, off-centre, avant-garde


  • 1An abnormal thing or person.

    ‘The most monomaniacal and extreme of Berlin Dadaists, Johannes Baader is to Dada what Byron is to Romanticism, ultimately inassimilable and heteroclitic among heteroclites.’
    • ‘The ` moderns’ includes Gerrit Rietveld and Alvar Aalto and the ` heteroclites’ (a term used to describe those designers mixing styles from a number of sources such as surrealism and popular culture) features Gio Ponti and Isamu Noguchi.’
    1. 1.1An irregularly declined word, especially a Greek or Latin noun.
      ‘Lily had intended to supply a text on heteroclites, and Robertson did so; but no text is here mentioned.’
      • ‘There is not space here to catalogue the various irregularities, heteroclites, metaplastic forms, etc., of Attic Greek, but the lists given in Kuehner-Blass, or any other of the more elaborate Greek grammars, are enough to convince the most skeptical.’


Late 15th century via late Latin from Greek heteroklitos, from heteros ‘other’ + -klitos ‘inflected’ (from klinein ‘to lean, inflect’).