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I was reading GRE vocabulary when i came across these two words. There dictionary definition is very similar to each other. They both stand for unconventional behaviour. Two examples :

He is a maverick who sometimes rebels against his own party.

Most of the artists are mavericks.

In the second sentence it looks eccentric can also go there.

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The definitions might seem similar, but they are not closely related in use at all.

"Maverick" connotes more of a willful rebellion, as in someone who actively chooses not to do things the same way as everyone else. A maverick tends to be someone strong-willed or principled in their nonconformity.

"Eccentric" is used more accurately to describe someone who is strange or odd, which may not necessarily be purposeful or understood by other people.

  • @geekahedron..I have understood maverick but facing difficulty in understanding the usage of eccentric. Can you please provide me examples of eccentric personality? A sentence or two would do for me. – Sudhir Sharma May 13 at 15:58
  • It may help to take a look at the Wikipedia page on "eccentricity": en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eccentricity_(behavior) – geekahedron May 13 at 16:01
  • @geekahedron..thanks for the link. The main problem i have in understanding this word is that at some places it is used to describe a positive trait of a person. Sometimes to describe the negative trait. For some mad behaviour it is said that a person is eccentric. At some places eccentric is used to describe positive quality like genius or creative. That is same in the wikipedia link also. – Sudhir Sharma May 13 at 16:11
  • @SudhirSharma Yup - eccentric in and of itself is neither positive nor negative, which is why you're having that confusion. – David Rice May 13 at 16:17
  • So its useless to say 'he is an eccentric person.' If the context is missing it would be useless. – Sudhir Sharma May 13 at 16:18

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