ee·​rie | \ ˈir-ē How to pronounce eerie (audio) \
variants: or less commonly eery
eerier; eeriest

Definition of eerie

1 : so mysterious, strange, or unexpected as to send a chill up the spine a coyote's eerie howl the similarities were eerie also : seemingly not of earthly origin the flames cast an eerie glow
2 chiefly Scotland : affected with fright : scared

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Other Words from eerie

eeriness \ ˈir-​ē-​nəs How to pronounce eerie (audio) \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for eerie

weird, eerie, uncanny mean mysteriously strange or fantastic. weird may imply an unearthly or supernatural strangeness or it may stress peculiarity 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

Examples of eerie in a Sentence

The flames cast an eerie glow. a land of eerie beauty
Recent Examples on the Web Tally deals with eerie dreams; Anacostia and Scylla plot to infiltrate the enemy. Washington Post, 6 July 2021 The Rocky Mountain elk fires on all sensory cylinders—smell, hearing, vision—and has an almost eerie knack for staying one step ahead of its pursuers. Susan Casey, Field & Stream, 6 Dec. 2020 The film's prescience is as eerie as its conclusions are disturbing. Thomas Page, CNN, 18 Sep. 2020 Consider the eerie parallels with the alien civilizations supposedly sending out unidentified flying objects that regularly maraud around our planet. Joe Queenan, WSJ, 24 June 2021 The cold violence that Abulhawa conjures in her novel runs through these cities and towns, sometimes in eerie parallels. Rozina Ali, The New Yorker, 14 Apr. 2021 The eclipse didn’t reproduce the eerie effect of the total solar eclipse of Aug. 21, 2017, which darkened skies and lowered temperatures across the U.S. Vipal Monga, WSJ, 10 June 2021 And like Lemmons’s story about a Lousiana Creole family’s mythic undoing, The Underground Railroad sometimes revels in the grandeur of nature to more eerie effect. Hannah Giorgis, The Atlantic, 14 May 2021 Like the music itself, the tone is thought-provoking and occasionally eerie, an immersive experience that never tips over into pretension. Claire Shaffer, Rolling Stone, 29 Apr. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'eerie.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of eerie

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for eerie

Middle English (northern dialect) eri

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Time Traveler for eerie

Time Traveler

The first known use of eerie was in the 14th century

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Last Updated

27 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Eerie.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Aug. 2021.

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More Definitions for eerie



English Language Learners Definition of eerie

: strange and mysterious


ee·​rie | \ ˈir-ē How to pronounce eerie (audio) \
eerier; eeriest

Kids Definition of eerie

: causing fear and uneasiness : strange an eerie coincidence

More from Merriam-Webster on eerie

Nglish: Translation of eerie for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of eerie for Arabic Speakers


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