Definition of heteroclite in US English:



  • Abnormal or irregular.

    ‘the book suffers from the heteroclite and ill-fitting nature of its various elements’
    • ‘Lefebvre's Marxism was heteroclite, and was heavily informed via his engagement with other thinkers.’
    • ‘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’.’
    unorthodox, unconventional, non-standard, unusual, uncommon, unwonted, out of the ordinary, radical, revolutionary, nonconformist, unconforming, irregular, offbeat, off-centre, avant-garde
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  • 1An abnormal thing or person.

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The most monomaniacal and extreme of Berlin Dadaists, Johannes Baader is to Dada what Byron is to Romanticism, ultimately inassimilable and heteroclitic among heteroclites.’
    1. 1.1 An 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’).