Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary


adjective \ˈstrānj\

Simple Definition of strange

  • : different from what is usual, normal, or expected

  • : not known, heard, or seen before

  • : not entirely comfortable or well

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of strange


  1. 1a archaic :  of, relating to, or characteristic of another country :  foreignb :  not native to or naturally belonging in a place :  of external origin, kind, or character

  2. 2a :  not before known, heard, or seen :  unfamiliarb :  exciting wonder or awe :  extraordinary

  3. 3a :  discouraging familiarities :  reserved, distantb :  ill at ease

  4. 4 :  unaccustomed 2 <she was strange to his ways>

strangely adverb

Examples of strange in a sentence

  1. Does his behavior seem strange to you?

  2. Truth is sometimes stranger than fiction.

  3. That is one of the strangest creatures I have ever seen.

  4. He gave me a strange look.

  5. Strange as it may seem, I don't like walking barefoot on the grass.

  6. It's strange that nobody told me about this before.

  7. That's strange. He was here a minute ago.

  8. The strange thing is that nobody saw him enter or leave the building.

  9. Children are taught not to talk to strange people.

  10. The language was strange to me.

Origin of strange

Middle English, from Anglo-French estrange, from Latin extraneus, literally, external, from extra outside — more at extra-

First Known Use: 13th century

Synonym Discussion of strange

strange, singular, unique, peculiar, eccentric, erratic, odd, quaint, outlandish mean departing from what is ordinary, usual, or to be expected. strange stresses unfamiliarity and may apply to the foreign, the unnatural, the unaccountable <a journey filled with strange sights>. singular suggests individuality or puzzling strangeness <a singular feeling of impending disaster>. unique implies singularity and the fact of being without a known parallel <a career unique in the annals of science>. peculiar implies a marked distinctiveness <the peculiar status of America's first lady>. eccentric suggests a wide divergence from the usual or normal especially in behavior <the eccentric eating habits of preschoolers>. erratic stresses a capricious and unpredictable wandering or deviating <a friend's suddenly erratic behavior>. odd applies to a departure from the regular or expected <an odd sense of humor>. quaint suggests an old-fashioned but pleasant oddness <a quaint fishing village>. outlandish applies to what is uncouth, bizarre, or barbaric <outlandish fashions of the time>.

Rhymes with strange



noun, often attributive

Definition of strange

  1. :  a fundamental quark that has an electric charge of −13 and a measured energy of approximately 150 MeV; also :  the flavor characterizing this particle


First Known Use of strange


STRANGE Defined for Kids


adjective \ˈstrānj\

Definition of strange for Students


  1. 1 :  unfamiliar 1 <strange surroundings>

  2. 2 :  different from what is usual, normal, or expected <a strange sight> <strange behavior>

  3. 3 :  not relaxed :  uneasy <I felt strange on the first day at school.>

strangely adverb
strangeness noun

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up strange? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


expressing little or no emotion

Get Word of the Day daily email!


Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.