Definition of exotic in English:



  • 1Originating in or characteristic of a distant foreign country.

    ‘exotic birds’
    ‘they loved to visit exotic places’
    • ‘Thailand is seen as an exotic holiday by foreign tourists, for beautiful beaches, sun and sea, wonderful culture and smiling people.’
    • ‘One of the great joys of watching films for a living is the opportunity some of them afford for glimpses of distant, exotic countries.’
    • ‘In exchange, they brought silks from China and exotic goods from distant Europe.’
    • ‘Most of them have their eyes set on sunnier and more exotic, distant resorts when they plan their holidays.’
    • ‘Unlike the first time, when traveling to Cuba was something of an exotic journey to a foreign land, my return was more akin to a homecoming.’
    • ‘Somewhere in the distance an exotic bird gave off a trilling call that sounded both mournful and sweet.’
    • ‘Despite the glaring exposure, the big corporate fish, especially the exotic, foreign variety, have evaded capture.’
    • ‘Foreigners are considered exotic to some extent by the locals pretty much anywhere I've been, and Canada is no exception.’
    • ‘The exotic creature, which originates from Central and South America, is probably an escaped pet.’
    • ‘He's never been one for exotic foreign holidays.’
    • ‘The other possessed an exotic beauty and a foreign look with high cheek bones and vivid green eyes.’
    • ‘There were exotic foods from distant lands, unique carpentry from other countries, and strange odors that brought excitement to the nose.’
    • ‘Software is at the mercy of users in distant lands with exotic laws and a disregarded and disrespected legal system.’
    • ‘In these narratives across different times and places, the reader seems to be both traveling through the tunnel of time and having an exotic experience in a foreign land.’
    • ‘For many Europeans, the description of an American summer camp seems foreign and slightly exotic.’
    • ‘The East through Western eyes has throughout history been seen as the ultimate symbol of foreignness, the most exotic of lands and people.’
    • ‘A serial conman who swindled victims out of more than £1million told a judge that he blew £64,000 on exotic foreign holidays.’
    • ‘Twenty-five years ago, it was the equivalent of the Internet; a means of access to worldwide information resources and exotic foreign cultures.’
    • ‘Historically, anthropologists have used ethnography to gain perspective on foreign, exotic cultures.’
    • ‘There were exotic meals, foreign names of the dishes, and plenty more desserts.’
    foreign, non-native, tropical
    foreign, faraway, far off, far-flung, unfamiliar
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    1. 1.1Attractive or striking because colorful or out of the ordinary.
      ‘an exotic outfit’
      ‘there was a touch of the exotic in her appearance’
      • ‘The vessel had very exotic colours which contrasted with the dull blacknesss of space.’
      • ‘For autumn/winter 99 she offers a colourful vision of exotic extravagance.’
      • ‘Start off with any old mixed packet, till you get the hang of it, before going on to the more exotic single coloured varieties.’
      • ‘I plunge into the old town, an effervescent mixture of colourful sights and exotic smells.’
      • ‘They had long been seen as a colourful, slightly exotic bunch.’
      • ‘They add a dash of exotic colour to what was once a place of busy docks and warehouses, most of which now lie in decay.’
      • ‘It features a quite attractive, somewhat exotic main theme that immediately catches the ear.’
      • ‘An ordinary paintbrush can create exotic, even outlandish designs with acrylic paint.’
      • ‘She had always been attracted to the exotic, the different, and the unique.’
      • ‘Some houseplant leaves look wonderful for this as they are glossy or have exotic markings or colouration.’
      • ‘Even the eighteenth century British art is looking strikingly exotic.’
      • ‘It's not easy to see just what determines which accents will seem disgusting to someone, and which will seem merely exotic or even attractive.’
      • ‘It was a small frog, made of blown glass beads, and decorated in exotic gold paints and garnished in rich, lovely colored fabrics.’
      • ‘With the trend being high shine, anything that glows bright jewellery, bright colours, exotic florals, metallic stripes, bold prints, gleams and shimmers will keep you in vogue.’
      • ‘His stories perfectly capture that fascination with exotic names and improbable colours and, best of all, the thrill of making a wise spending choice.’
      • ‘Also noteworthy is the creative matching of gold with a variety of stones and materials in exotic colours.’
      • ‘It's not just that pelts and plumes are exotic, strikingly patterned or richly textured.’
      • ‘Some of the most exotic devices have attracted serious interest in military circles.’
      • ‘Visually, Act II works best in its exotic use of colour and lighting.’
      • ‘The colour combination gives an exotic appearance, setting this daffodil apart from others.’
      striking, colourful, eye-catching
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    2. 1.2Of a kind not used for ordinary purposes or not ordinarily encountered.
      ‘exotic elementary particles as yet unknown to science’
      • ‘Many physicists assumed that a more exotic underlying mechanism was responsible for superconductivity in magnesium diboride.’
      • ‘Some installers are adding broken glass, bits of metal, and other exotic materials to the mix, and diamond polishing afterwards.’
      • ‘Physicists have coaxed a few atoms into exotic states that fit the bill, but they didn't make much of a computer.’
      • ‘Tea needs relatively more sunlight than coffee and the exotic silver oak has been the tree of choice to provide the scant shade that the plants need.’
      • ‘Pulsars and quasars may turn out to be commonplace in comparison to the exotic astrophysical events that gravity wave astronomy reveals.’
      • ‘Something with pressure comparable to its energy density is exotic.’
      • ‘However, anti-matter is an exotic form of matter which is extremely expensive to produce.’
      • ‘But there are potentially more exotic applications over the horizon: quantum computers.’
      • ‘Some of the proposals include exotic electronic states that have not yet been observed in any system.’
      • ‘Even airplanes, RC cars, and chainsaws have experienced power boosts from some of VPs exotic fuels.’
      • ‘A crypto-exotic, by contrast, is a hadron that does not have an exotic quantum number, but does not have a meson or baryon body plan either.’
      • ‘Supersymmetric theories are good places to look for exotic matter in the form of fermionic superpartners of bosonic particles that carry forces.’
      • ‘What you don't get in one of these knives is exotic steel with a tip-of-the-tongue collector name.’
      • ‘Despite this careful redefinition of the velocity of a wave, there are, in fact, still exotic situations where the group velocity can exceed c.’
      • ‘Unfortunately, my wife does not share my enthusiasm for the aroma of burnt rubber and exotic fuels.’
      • ‘Keep in mind that you're not talking about exotic fuels per se.’
      • ‘You say you got a 94% conversion with that exotic chiral zinc reagent?’
      • ‘As this discussion makes clear, the issue of exotic hadrons exposes profound weaknesses in our current understanding of the strong interaction.’
      • ‘The engines of tomorrow's PCs may be based not on silicon dioxide but on exotic new compounds such as perovskite oxide or even the stuff of life itself, DNA.’
      • ‘It would eliminate many of the exotic chemicals and processes now used to make chips.’


  • An exotic plant or animal.

    ‘he planted exotics in the sheltered garden’
    • ‘An important feature of the site is the lack of invasive non-native exotics like rhododendron and laurel.’
    • ‘There was no mention made of the fact that the beaver is a native North American species whereas the cherry trees are exotics, imported from Japan.’
    • ‘As in Hawaii, one of the most invasive and damaging exotics is the guava plant, which covers more than 12% of the farm area of the biggest island in the group.’
    • ‘Native plants are preferable, but many enthusiasts swear by exotics such as single varieties of fuchsia, as well as lantana and red-hot poker.’
    • ‘‘I didn't want to get into battle with the deer,’ she says, so she made sure to avoid exotics that deer find tasty.’
    • ‘A mixture of natives and exotics has been planted closely with a view to thinning later.’
    • ‘There is a wide range of trees and shrubs, exotics and natives, and even in winter there is some colour.’
    • ‘Exotics such as cotton palms and African mahoganies which are favoured by the turtle and Barbary doves, should be avoided.’
    • ‘And of course, all those wonderful exotics planted in Joubert Park are still there, thriving since they were planted over 100 years ago.’
    • ‘Yet the shorthair influence, though remote, is difficult to remove, and even now few people breed one exotic to another more than once every two or three generations.’
    • ‘You don't have to be a Shakespeare scholar to know that the Prince of Denmark is not contemplating a castle grounds filled with invasive exotics when he utters these lines.’
    • ‘In Hawaii today, as in Australia, many exotics are aggressive and pushing out the indigenous plants.’
    • ‘But once the oaks die, grasses and exotics, like Scotch broom, will seed in aggressively, provoking a hotter flame.’
    • ‘Although he relies heavily on native plants, he keeps his mind and garden open to exotics, as long as they are appropriate for his Zone 8 garden.’
    • ‘Encouraging people to use host plants in their gardens is one way to move away from exotics and invasive plants which can be damaging to the wider environment.’
    • ‘It is important to remember that many exotics have ‘gotten loose’ in southern landscapes and actually choked out native species in their own habitat.’
    • ‘Gooseberries and apples, in fact, figure just as largely in the early Transactions of the Royal Horticultural Society as new exotics like dahlias and chrysanths.’
    • ‘This could refer to any of the passerines, though most likely a canary or similar caged exotic.’
    • ‘In the past exotics were mostly planted, mainly because they were easier to prune, and their root systems didn't interfere with the underground service pipes.’
    • ‘This could be an especially harmful exotic because its venomous spines are dangerous to humans and other fish.’


Late 16th century: via Latin from Greek exōtikos foreign from exō outside.