cock·​eyed ˈkäk-ˌīd How to pronounce cockeyed (audio)
: turned or tilted to one side : askew
a cockeyed hat
He had brown curly hair, and a little cockeyed grin that made girls and women smile back.Tracy Kidder
In the narrow streets between are steep-roofed Renaissance houses with sculpted beams, cockeyed walls, and old wells.R. W. Apple, Jr.
: somewhat confusing, foolish, absurd, or impractical
a cockeyed scheme/idea
Call me a peacenik, a cockeyed optimist, a technology fanboy—I've been called worse—but I see the opportunity in engaging, in negotiating, and in connecting these cultures …Jeff Jarvis
A mondegreen is a cockeyed new word or phrase resulting from mishearing a proper word or phrase …Rudolph Chelminski
also : in utter confusion or disorder : topsy-turvy
Bruce Catton called it "a startling novel about the horrible things that can happen to a man in the cockeyed postwar world of Europe … a world gone mad." John Anthony West
: having a cockeye
: drunk sense 1a
… gets wonderfully cockeyed in the neighborhood bar with her old friends.Jane Cobb
cockeyedly adverb
cockeyedness noun

Examples of cockeyed in a Sentence

The windows of the house look cockeyed. Where did you get those cockeyed ideas? She is full of cockeyed optimism.
Recent Examples on the Web The emergency exit door was sticking out in front of his seat, forcing him to angle his legs for the better part of 10 hours, leaving his frame a little cockeyed and sore by touchdown. Matthew Futterman, New York Times, 7 July 2023 The English singer-songwriter-producer with a velvety R&B voice and the cockeyed beatmaking of J. Dilla was touted as a potential superstar in the 2000s. August Brown, Los Angeles Times, 9 Apr. 2023 The cockeyed genius of the series, which recently finished rolling out a six-episode second season, is finding profundity in parody. Peter Marks, Washington Post, 26 May 2023 The turn-signal lever, pivoting on an east-west axis, is wonderfully cockeyed, too. Larry Griffin, Car and Driver, 11 Apr. 2023 These are two of the 18 species of cockeyed squid. Elizabeth Preston, Discover Magazine, 21 Feb. 2017 Robbie plays Nellie as a creature of insatiable appetites — for fame but most especially cocaine — whose jittery, tight-jawed energy fuels the entire cockeyed caravan. Ann Hornaday, Washington Post, 20 Dec. 2022 And there’s something almost cockeyed good about it. Bob Guccione Jr, SPIN, 17 Feb. 2023 The cockeyed miscreant and stand-out basketball player was at least a full foot taller than me, dumb as a box of bullfrogs, and had breath that smelled like a sewage plant. Goldie Taylor, Rolling Stone, 12 Feb. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'cockeyed.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1737, in the meaning defined at sense 4

Time Traveler
The first known use of cockeyed was in 1737

Dictionary Entries Near cockeyed

Cite this Entry

“Cockeyed.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


cock·​eyed ˈkäk-ˈīd How to pronounce cockeyed (audio)
: having a squinting eye
: turned or tilted to one side
: slightly crazy : foolish

Medical Definition


cock·​eyed ˈkäk-ˈīd How to pronounce cockeyed (audio)
: having a cockeye

More from Merriam-Webster on cockeyed

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