adjective out·land·ish \ˌau̇t-ˈlan-dish\

Definition of outlandish

  1. 1 :  of or relating to another country :  foreign <saw many outlandish animals at the zoo>

  2. 2a :  strikingly out of the ordinary :  bizarre <an outlandish costume> <Her book is filled with outlandish characters.> <spun some outlandish tales>b :  exceeding proper or reasonable limits or standards <workers complain of outlandish hours — Joan E. Rigdon> <outlandish government specifications>

  3. 3 :  remote from civilization <no other young men foolish enough to offer to go to such an outlandish station — Geog. Jour.>





Examples of outlandish in a sentence

  1. She fills her books with outlandish characters.

  2. The actress wore an outlandish dress to the awards ceremony.

Did You Know?

In olden times, English speakers used the phrase outlandish man to refer to a foreigner - or, one who came from an outland, which originally meant "a foreign land." From here, outlandish broadened in usage from a word meaning "from another land" to one describing something unfamiliar or strange. Dress was a common early target for the adjective - Henry Fielding, in Tom Jones (1749), writes of a woman who was drest in one of your outlandish Garments. Nowadays, the word can be applied to anything that strikes us as out of the ordinary, as in the description of one man’s outlandish proposal to replace the aging Tappan Zee Bridge with a seven-mile tunnel, from the New York Times, September 16, 2001.

Before 12th Century

First Known Use of outlandish

before 12th century

Synonym Discussion of outlandish

strange, singular, unique, peculiar, eccentric, erratic, odd, quaint, outlandish mean departing from what is ordinary, usual, or to be expected. strange stresses unfamiliarity and may apply to the foreign, the unnatural, the unaccountable <a journey filled with strange sights>. singular suggests individuality or puzzling strangeness <a singular feeling of impending disaster>. unique implies singularity and the fact of being without a known parallel <a career unique in the annals of science>. peculiar implies a marked distinctiveness <the peculiar status of America's first lady>. eccentric suggests a wide divergence from the usual or normal especially in behavior <the eccentric eating habits of preschoolers>. erratic stresses a capricious and unpredictable wandering or deviating <a friend's suddenly erratic behavior>. odd applies to a departure from the regular or expected <an odd sense of humor>. quaint suggests an old-fashioned but pleasant oddness <a quaint fishing village>. outlandish applies to what is uncouth, bizarre, or barbaric <outlandish fashions of the time>.

OUTLANDISH Defined for English Language Learners


adjective out·land·ish \ˌau̇t-ˈlan-dish\

Definition of outlandish for English Language Learners

  • : very strange or unusual : extremely different from what is normal or expected

OUTLANDISH Defined for Kids


adjective out·land·ish \au̇t-ˈlan-dish\

Definition of outlandish for Students

  1. :  very strange or unusual :  bizarre <outlandish behavior> <outlandish clothes>

Seen and Heard

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possibly but not certainly

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