adj. weird·er, weird·est
1. Strikingly odd or unusual, especially in an unsettling way; strange: He lives in a weird old house on a dark street. Your neighbor is said to be a little weird. I felt a little weird after drinking that tea.
2. Suggestive of the supernatural: weird stories about ghosts.
3. Archaic Of or relating to fate or the Fates.
1. Fate; destiny.
2. One's assigned lot or fortune, especially when evil.
tr. & intr.v. weird·ed, weird·ing, weirds
Slang To experience or cause to experience an odd, unusual, and sometimes uneasy sensation. Often used with out.
[Middle English werd, wird, fate (often in the pl. wirdes, the Fates), from Old English wyrd; see wer-2 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
Synonyms: weird, eerie, uncanny, unearthly
These adjectives refer to what is of a mysteriously strange, usually frightening nature. Weird may suggest the operation of supernatural influences, or merely the odd or unusual: "Nameless voices—weird sounds that awake in a Southern forest at twilight's approach,—were crying a sinister welcome to the settling gloom" (Kate Chopin). "The platypus ... seemed so weird when first discovered that a specimen sent to a museum was thought to be a hoax: bits of mammal and bits of bird stitched together" (Richard Dawkins).
Something eerie inspires fear or uneasiness and implies a sinister influence: "His white countenance was rendered eerie by the redness of the sagging lids below his eyes" (John Updike).
Uncanny refers to what is impossible to explain or accept: "My mother had an uncanny ability to see right through to my motives. At the time I wondered if she had ESP" (Porter Shreve).
Something unearthly seems so strange and unnatural as to come from or belong to another world: "The joy of having escaped death made the unearthly ruins of Hamburg seem more like a smoldering paradise than the purgatory other people thought our once lovely city had become" (Marione Ingram).
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.