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From late Latin heteroclitus, from Ancient Greek ἑτερόκλιτος ‎(heteróklitos), from ἕτερος ‎(héteros, other, another, different) + κλίνω ‎(klínō, lean, incline), the latter from Proto-Indo-European *ḱley-.


  • IPA(key): /ˈhɛtərəʊklaɪt/


heteroclite ‎(comparative more heteroclite, superlative most heteroclite)

  1. Deviating from the ordinary rule; eccentric, abnormal.
    • 1759, Laurence Sterne, The Life & Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman, Penguin, published 2003, page 24:
      he was, on the contrary, as mercurial and sublimated a composition,----as heteroclite a creature in all his declensions; -----with as much life and whim, and gaité de cœur about him, as the kindliest climate could have engendered and put together.
    • 1997, Gene Wolfe, The Urth of the New Sun:
      Nor could I have dreamed the heteroclite crew-men I had met aboard Tzadkiel's ship ...
  2. (grammar) Being irregularly declined or inflected.

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heteroclite ‎(plural heteroclites)

  1. A person who is unconventional; a maverick
  2. (grammar) An irregularly declined or inflected word
  3. (linguistics) A word whose etymological roots come from distinct, different languages or language groups.

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  1. vocative masculine singular of heterōclitus