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We stumbled upon a charming town filled with idiosyncrasy and surprise.
  a behavioral attribute that is distinctive and peculiar to an individual
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idiosyncratic idiosyncrasy idiosyncrasies idiosyncratically
This word is most often seen in the form idiosyncratic, but the form idiosyncrasy is more commonly included in standardized word tests.

Eccentricity is a more commonly used synonym. Compared to it, idiosyncrasy has a more positive flavor — often stressing a behavior that can be interpreted as positive rather than just odd.
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  • We stumbled upon a charming town filled with idiosyncrasy and surprise.
  • The museum is idiosyncratic and interesting.
  • Even though they had both become reasonably tolerant of the idiosyncrasies involved in my professional duties, I did not want to try them too far and so I continued to postpone the analytical work, until one October morning when they went away together on a caribou hunting trip, leaving me in sole possession of the camp.
    Farley Mowat  --  Never Cry Wolf
  • His name was Matt and we ended up dating for less than a month before his idiosyncrasies got the best of me.
    Colleen Hoover  --  Hopeless

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  • For the initiate ours is a cruel language, its freaky orthography and idiosyncrasies never so absurdly apparent as on the printed page, and Sophie’s skill at reading and writing always lagged behind her—to me—fetchingly erratic speech.
    William Styron  --  Sophie’s Choice
  • It depends on the personal idiosyncrasy of the patient towards that particular drug.
    Agatha Christie  --  And Then There Were None
  • The opinions he expressed in print, argued with idiosyncratic logic, were all over the map.
    Jon Krakauer  --  Into the Wild
  • We had been an idiosyncratic, leaderless band in the summer, undirected except by the eccentric notions of Phineas.
    John Knowles  --  A Separate Peace
  • But she told me the crucial thing is to tell them the specific idiosyncratic ways in which I related to them.
    Randy Pausch  --  The Last Lecture
  • In the week that Idris has been back in Kabul, he has found this tone of lighthearted exasperation common among the foreign-aid workers, who’ve had to navigate the inconveniences and idiosyncrasies of Afghan culture.
    Khaled Hosseini  --  And The Mountains Echoed

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  • And when ordinary fellows like you and me attempt to cope with their idiosyncrasies the result is bungling.
    Kate Chopin  --  The Awakening
  • He hadn’t lived there long, but the closeness of the homes allowed Wes to get to know the neighbors and their idiosyncrasies well.
    Wes Moore  --  The Other Wes Moore
  • He had no taste for sham, tact or pretension, and his credo as a professional soldier was unified and concise: he believed that the young men who took orders from him should be willing to give up their lives for the ideals, aspirations and idiosyncrasies of the old men he took orders from.
    Joseph Heller  --  Catch-22
  • He was, I think, deliberately playing up the idiosyncrasies of his personality.
    Malcolm Gladwell  --  The Tipping Point
  • Her rhyme scheme proves to be a little idiosyncratic, since she elects to repeat the same rhymes in both quatrains of the octave: abbaabba.
    Thomas C. Foster  --  How to Read Literature Like a Professor
  • Scott Fischer’s team was a congenial and cohesive group; most of Pittman’s teammates took her idiosyncrasies in stride and seemed to have little trouble accepting her into their midst.
    Jon Krakauer  --  Into Thin Air
  • At the time, I set it down to some idiosyncratic, personal distaste, and merely wondered at the acuteness of the symptoms; but I have since had reason to believe the cause to lie much deeper in the nature of man, and to turn on some nobler hinge than the principle of hatred.
    Robert Louis Stevenson  --  Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
  • I acknowledge to this ridiculous idiosyncrasy, as a reason why I would give them a little more play.
    Charles Dickens  --  Hard Times
  • — That’s all we’ve got,’ said my aunt; with whom it was an idiosyncrasy, as it is with some horses, to stop very short when she appeared to be in a fair way of going on for a long while.
    Charles Dickens  --  David Copperfield
  • X Every village has its idiosyncrasy, its constitution, often its own code of morality.
    Thomas Hardy  --  Tess of the d’Urbervilles
  • An idiosyncrasy of that particular model.
    Don DeLillo  --  White Noise
  • Thereupon promptly came to the surface that idiosyncrasy of Henchard’s which had ruled his courses from the beginning and had mainly made him what he was.
    Thomas Hardy  --  The Mayor of Casterbridge
  • The young artist wearing his whiskers into the lobby of the Ritz will be glad to explain his idiosyncrasy.
    Joseph Campbell  --  The Hero With a Thousand Faces
  • The wind propelled the snow against the sides of barns and homes, and Ishmael could hear it whistling through the wing window’s rubber molding, which had been loose now for many years: it had been loose back when his father was alive, one of the car’s small idiosyncrasies, part of the reason he was loath to part with it.
    David Guterson  --  Snow Falling on Cedars
  • Never one where Chekhov’s talent is matched, nuance for nuance, idiosyncrasy for idiosyncrasy, by every soul onstage.
    J.D. Salinger  --  Franny and Zooey
  • It was written to me (as it told me in so many words), perhaps because it was the writer’s idiosyncrasy to put that trust in me, perhaps because it was mine to justify it.
    Charles Dickens  --  Bleak House
  • He is the only boy who knows his peculiarities, his idiosyncrasies, who knows how to get the best of him.
    Laura Hillenbrand  --  Seabiscuit
  • In fact, the two perspectives are finally inseparable: serving as a repository of the past in an unlettered culture, the singer of epic aspired to be traditional, to retell the oldest stories without obvious novelty or idiosyncrasy; yet these same traditions were so profuse and so many-sided in their meanings that only the strongest poetic vision could have wrought from them the definitive shaping that is The Iliad.
    Homer  --  The Iliad
  • This mode of death had been an idiosyncrasy with his family, for generations past; not often occurring, indeed, but, when it does occur, usually attacking individuals about the Judge’s time of life, and generally in the tension of some mental crisis, or, perhaps, in an access of wrath.
    Nathaniel Hawthorne  --  The House of the Seven Gables
  • Cartlett’s interest in Jude whatever it might have been when Arabella was new to him, had plainly flagged since her charms and her idiosyncrasies, her supernumerary hair-coils, and her optional dimples, were becoming as a tale that is told.
    Thomas Hardy  --  Jude the Obscure
  • But the mind within was beginning to use it as a mere waste tablet whereon to trace its idiosyncrasies as they developed themselves.
    Thomas Hardy  --  The Return of the Native
  • It amused her to think that any one as rich as Mr. Percy Gryce should be shy; but she was gifted with treasures of indulgence for such idiosyncrasies, and besides, his timidity might serve her purpose better than too much assurance.
    Edith Wharton  --  The House of Mirth
  • The Doctor’s wine was admirable, and it may be communicated to the reader that while he sipped it Morris reflected that a cellar-full of good liquor—there was evidently a cellar-full here—would be a most attractive idiosyncrasy in a father-in-law.
    Henry James  --  Washington Square
  • But even if you ignored her other idiosyncrasies—the fact that she drove a moped to the salon unless it was raining, favored clothing with polka dots, and viewed her Elvis collectibles as "fine art"—Mabel would still be regarded as positively odd for something she’d done over a quarter century ago.
    Nicholas Sparks  --  The Guardian
  • Under Eva’s distant eye, and prey to her idiosyncrasies, her own children grew up stealthily: Pearl married at fourteen and moved to Flint, Michigan, from where she posted frail letters to her mother with two dollars folded into the writing paper.
    Toni Morrison  --  Sula
  • She was the first woman I ever knew who wore slacks on a regular basis, and it was one of those idiosyncrasies that separated her from her neighbors South of Broad.
    Pat Conroy  --  The Lords of Discipline
  • …her beauty merely that one thought of, one must remember the quivering thing, the living thing (they were carrying bricks up a little plank as he watched them), and work it into the picture; or if one thought of her simply as a woman, one must endow her with some freak of idiosyncrasy—she did not like admiration—or suppose some latent desire to doff her royalty of form as if her beauty bored her and all that men say of beauty, and she wanted only to be like other people, insignificant.
    Virginia Woolf  --  To the Lighthouse
  • Thus stood the two Harrys, neither playing a very pretty part, over against the worthy professor, mocking one another, watching one another, and spitting at one another, while as always in such predicaments, the eternal question presented itself whether all this was simple stupidity and human frailty, a common depravity, or whether this sentimental egoism and perversity, this slovenliness and two-facedness of feeling was merely a personal idiosyncrasy of the Steppenwolves.
    Hermann Hesse  --  Steppenwolf
  • After all, he was afraid only of the car and Link, and that fear was an idiosyncrasy.
    Zane Grey  --  The Light of Western Stars
  • I knew I drove her crazy with my idiosyncrasies.
    Dave Peizer  --  A Man Named Dave
  • It is not vanity; for I am emptied of ambition; I do not remember my special gifts, or idiosyncrasy, or the marks I bear on my person; eyes, nose or mouth.
    Virginia Woolf  --  The Waves
  • But its chief excuse is its human interest, for it prods deeply into national idiosyncrasies and ways of mind, and that sort of prodding is always entertaining.
    Henry L. Mencken  --  The American Language
  • This idiosyncrasy-the term he uses in his diary-was warmly approved of by Tarrou; indeed, one of his appreciative comments ends on the exclamation: "At last!"
    Albert Camus  --  The Plague
  • One can only give one’s audience the chance of drawing their own conclusions as they observe the limitations, the prejudices, the idiosyncrasies of the speaker.
    Virginia Woolf  --  A Room of One’s Own
  • Perhaps it was a learned dislike, perhaps an inborn idiosyncrasy— whatever it was, he abhorred banging doors and could have slapped anyone guilty of slamming one within earshot.
    Thomas Mann  --  The Magic Mountain
  • Obviously, as vital as the physical appearances was language-not merely the fluent use of English but the mastery of linguistic idiosyncrasies, the dialects that were characteristic of specific locations.
    Robert Ludlum  --  The Bourne Ultimatum
  • The place feels like everything Mc-Donald’s is not — lively, unruly, deeply idiosyncratic, and organized according to a highly complex scheme that only one human being could possibly understand.
    Eric Schlosser  --  Fast Food Nation
  • His light overcoat blew open, he stepped with indescribable idiosyncrasy, lent a little forward, tripped, with his hands behind his back and his eyes still a little hawklike; he tripped through London, towards Westminster, observing.
    Virginia Woolf  --  Mrs. Dalloway
  • Judea had been a Roman province eighty years and more—ample time for the Caesars to study the idiosyncrasies of the people—time enough, at least, to learn that the Jew, with all his pride, could be quietly governed if his religion were respected.
    Lew Wallace  --  Ben Hur
  • But the curious thing, the contradiction, is that I was standing in the middle of a fenced enclosure in a bungalow slum looking up at the spires of the great strange architectural cluster known as the Watts Towers, an idiosyncrasy out of someone’s innocent anarchist visions, and the more I looked, the more I thought of Jimmy.
    Don DeLillo  --  Underworld
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Associated words [difficulty]:   idiosyncrasy [5]
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