exotic

Something so unusual that it must be from some unfamiliar place is exotic. An exotic pet might be a panda, instead of a hamster. An exotic trip might be a journey to the Galapagos Islands, instead of to Orlando's Sea World.

Animals and people, or sensory things like food and smells, are often called exotic when they are from far-away lands. In the 16th century, exotic came into use — from Latin and Greek words for "foreign," which came, in turn, from exo-, meaning "outside." By the 17th century it was also being used to describe things that are striking or unusual. Even when the words strange and alien are sometimes used as synonyms.

Definitions of exotic
1

adj being or from or characteristic of another place or part of the world

exotic plants in a greenhouse”
exotic cuisine”
Synonyms:
alien
foreign, strange
relating to or originating in or characteristic of another place or part of the world

adj strikingly strange or unusual

“an exotic hair style”
“protons, neutrons, electrons and all their exotic variants”
“the exotic landscape of a dead planet”
Synonyms:
strange, unusual
being definitely out of the ordinary and unexpected; slightly odd or even a bit weird

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, Vocabulary.com can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.