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noun \ˈwird\

Definition of weird

  1. 1 :  fate, destiny; especially :  ill fortune

  2. 2 :  soothsayer

Origin of weird

Middle English wird, werd, from Old English wyrd; akin to Old Norse urthr fate, Old English weorthan to become — more at worth

First Known Use: before 12th century

Rhymes with weird



adjective \ˈwird\

Simple Definition of weird

  • : unusual or strange

Full Definition of weird

  1. 1 :  of, relating to, or caused by witchcraft or the supernatural :  magical

  2. 2 :  of strange or extraordinary character :  odd, fantastic

weird·ly adverb
weird·ness noun

Examples of weird

  1. Cosmic strings are second only to black holes in the astrophysicist's pantheon of weird objects. They are narrow, ultradense filaments formed during a phase transition—called inflation—within the first microsecond of cosmic history. —Steve Nadis, Astronomy, October 2005

  2. If you looked at them closely you realized they were carved with weird, pagan creatures, more like hobgoblins than men, half hidden among trees and leaves—here acanthus and there what looked like a palm tree. —Kate Atkinson, Case Histories, 2004

  3. As an extended fictional device allegory is used mainly in didactic, satirical fables, such as Gulliver's Travels, Animal Farm and Erewhon. In these masterpieces a surface realism of presentation gives the fantastic events a kind of weird plausibility … —David Lodge, The Art of Fiction, 1992

  4. My little brother acts weird sometimes.

  5. I heard a weird noise.

  6. That's weird—I put my book down right here just a few minutes ago and now it's gone.

Origin of weird

(see 1weird)

First Known Use: 15th century

Synonym Discussion of weird

weird, eerie, uncanny mean mysteriously strange or fantastic. weird may imply an unearthly or supernatural strangeness or it may stress queerness or oddness <weird creatures from another world>. eerie suggests an uneasy or fearful consciousness that mysterious and malign powers are at work <an eerie calm preceded the bombing raid>. uncanny implies disquieting strangeness or mysteriousness <an uncanny resemblance between total strangers>.

WEIRD Defined for Kids


adjective \ˈwird\

Definition of weird


  1. :  very unusual :  strange <So what if I have weird eyebrows and funny toes? — Judy Blume, Sheila the Great>

History for weird

The adjective weird came from an earlier noun weird, which meant “fate.” In Scotland weird was used as an adjective in the phrase “the Weird Sisters,” a name for the Fates, three goddesses who set human destinies. In his play Macbeth, William Shakespeare adapted this phrase for the eerie sisters who tell Macbeth his fate. So well-known was Shakespeare's usage that the original meaning of weird was forgotten and people assumed that it meant “strange, fantastic”—which accurately described the sisters in the play.

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February 9, 2016

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