from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Of or relating to a group of syntactically related words, none of which is functionally equivalent to the function of the whole group. For example, none of the words in the phrase on the table is an adverb, yet they combine to form a phrase having adverbial function.
  • adj. Of or relating to a compound word whose referent is not the same as the referents of any of its constituent parts. For example, the noun razorback does not refer to a type of back, but to a type of hog (one having a sharply ridged back).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Not having the same part of speech as any of its constituent words.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. not fulfilling the same grammatical role of any of its constituents


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • Broccoli would first meet the exocentric billionaire, Howard Hughes, who was financing the picture.

    MI6 :: 007 News

  • Diachronic versus synchronic approaches vied with endocentric versus exocentric to confound the neophyte.

    VERBATIM: The Language Quarterly Vol III No 2

  • fn1. e.g. here - the transition from egocentric to exocentric in population sense as display shrinks.

    July 2006


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