ee·​rie ˈir-ē How to pronounce eerie (audio)
variants or less commonly eery
eerier; eeriest
: 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
chiefly Scotland : affected with fright : scared
eeriness 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

Example Sentences

The flames cast an eerie glow. a land of eerie beauty
Recent Examples on the Web The Boogeyman, starring Yellowjackets’ Sophie Thatcher and the great Chris Messina, looks fittingly eerie. James Grebey, Vulture, 2 June 2023 LaValle adroitly intertwines the eerie fairy tale with early-20th-century historical realism. Washington Post Editors And Reviewers, Washington Post, 26 May 2023 The men vanished just three months apart under eerie and similar circumstances. Taylor Wilson, USA TODAY, 4 Apr. 2023 The night was filled with that eerie light that only molten rock can produce. Erik Klemetti, Discover Magazine, 27 Mar. 2023 Hiding among the marshes and the mist—which the pilot’s director, Brady Hood, imbues with an eerie otherworldliness—are two escapees from a prison ship: Magwitch (Johnny Harris) and Compeyson (Trystan Gravelle), mortal enemies whose convoluted history will eventually be revealed. Inkoo Kang, The New Yorker, 26 Mar. 2023 As the crew members fall one by one to a mysterious ailment, each starts to see eerie hallucinations representing their darkest fears or their dearest fantasies. Angie Han, The Hollywood Reporter, 31 Jan. 2023 Bolsonaro die-hards, meeting shockingly little resistance from security forces in a capital city governed by a Bolsonaro supporter, invaded several government buildings in an eerie reenactment of the January 6, 2021, insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. Michael Tomasky, The New Republic, 9 Jan. 2023 The eerie comedy features Andy Samberg and Cristin Milioti. Hannah Kerns, Peoplemag, 16 Dec. 2022 See More

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

Word History


Middle English (northern dialect) eri

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

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

Dictionary Entries Near eerie

Cite this Entry

“Eerie.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Jun. 2023.

Kids Definition


variants also eery
eerier; eeriest
: causing fear or uneasiness because of strangeness or gloominess
an eerie shadow
eerily adverb
eeriness noun

More from Merriam-Webster on eerie

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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