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[ig-zot-ik] /ɪgˈzɒt ɪk/
of foreign origin or character; not native; introduced from abroad, but not fully naturalized or acclimatized:
exotic foods; exotic plants.
strikingly unusual or strange in effect or appearance:
an exotic hairstyle.
of a uniquely new or experimental nature:
exotic weapons.
of, relating to, or involving stripteasing:
the exotic clubs where strippers are featured.
something that is exotic:
The flower show included several tropical exotics with showy blooms.
an exotic dancer; a striptease dancer or belly dancer.
Origin of exotic
1590-1600; < Latin exōticus < Greek exōtikós foreign. See exo-, -tic
Related forms
exotically, adverb
exoticness, noun
nonexotic, adjective
nonexotically, adverb
unexotic, adjective
unexotically, adverb
Can be confused
erotic, erratic, exotic. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for exotic
  • Immigrant fish can also carry exotic diseases or can be aggressive predators that threaten native populations directly.
  • Abundance and diversity matter more than whether species are native or exotic.
  • Romans used such a method as early as the first century, when soldiers returned from exotic regions with taboo markings.
  • The author guides readers to exotic and not-so-exotic places.
  • The green spiny cactus contrasts with the exotic deep reds and oranges of the delicate bougainvillea.
  • Because cures for the exotic viruses are so rare, researchers are anxious to make progress.
  • What makes Arabian music sound so exotic is the infinite varieties of pitch which the oud can achieve.
  • Its vividly colored banks are known for their exotic fish.
  • Like a bounty of exotic fruit, Miami has something for every taste.
  • For a look at some exotic aquatic creatures, check out our slide show.
British Dictionary definitions for exotic


originating in a foreign country, esp one in the tropics; not native: an exotic plant
having a strange or bizarre allure, beauty, or quality
(NZ) (of trees, esp pine trees) native to the northern hemisphere but cultivated in New Zealand: an exotic forest
of or relating to striptease
an exotic person or thing
Derived Forms
exotically, adverb
exoticism, noun
exoticness, noun
Word Origin
C16: from Latin exōticus, from Greek exōtikos foreign, from exō outside
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for exotic

1590s, "belonging to another country," from Middle French exotique (16c.) and directly from Latin exoticus, from Greek exotikos "foreign," literally "from the outside," from exo "outside" (see exo-). Sense of "unusual, strange" first recorded in English 1620s, from notion of "alien, outlandish." In reference to strip-teasers and dancing girls, it is first attested by 1942, American English.

Exotic dancer in the nightclub trade means a girl who goes through a few motions while wearing as few clothes as the cops will allow in the city where she is working ... ["Life," May 5, 1947]
As a noun from 1640s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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