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A.Word.A.Day--heteroclite

Pronunciation RealAudio

heteroclite (HET-uhr-uh-klyt) adjective

1. Deviating from the ordinary rule; eccentric.

2. (In grammar) Irregularly inflected.

noun

1. A person who is unconventional; a maverick.

2. A word that is irregularly formed.

[From Middle French, from Late Latin heteroclitus, from Greek heteroklitos, from hetero- + klinein (to lean, inflect). Ultimately from the Indo-European root klei (to lean). Other words derived from the same root are decline, incline, recline, lean, client, climax, and ladder.]

"They (candidates) are a heteroclite bunch." Philip Revzin; Will Italians Vote To Send a Scotsman To EC Parliament?; The Wall Street Journal (New York); Jun 16, 1989.

"I might have imagined. Nor could I have dreamed the heteroclite crew - men I had met aboard Tzadkiel's ship ..." Gene Wolfe; The Urth of the New Sun; Tor Books; 1997.

This week's theme: words to describe people.

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