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
Simple Definition of weird
: unusual or strange
Examples of weird in a sentence
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
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
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
My little brother acts weird sometimes.
I heard a weird noise.
That's weird—I put my book down right here just a few minutes ago and now it's gone.
Did You Know?
Weird derives from the Old English noun wyrd, essentially meaning "fate." By the 8th century, the plural wyrde had begun to appear in texts as a gloss for Parcae, the Latin name for the Fates—three goddesses who spun, measured, and cut the thread of life. In the 15th and16th centuries, Scots authors employed werd or weird in the phrase "weird sisters" to refer to the Fates. William Shakespeare adopted this usage in Macbeth, in which the "weird sisters" are depicted as three witches. Subsequent adjectival use of weird grew out of a reinterpretation of the weird used by Shakespeare.
Origin of weird
First Known Use: 15th century
Synonym Discussion of weird
WEIRD Defined for Kids
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.
Seen and Heard
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