out·​land·​ish | \ ˌau̇t-ˈlan-dish How to pronounce outlandish (audio) \

Definition of outlandish

1 : of or relating to another country : foreign saw many outlandish animals at the zoo
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 : remote from civilization no other young men foolish enough to offer to go to such an outlandish stationGeog. Jour.

Other Words from outlandish

outlandishly adverb
outlandishness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for 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

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; English novelist 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, from bizarre conspiracy theories to exaggerated boasting.

Examples of outlandish in a Sentence

She fills her books with outlandish characters. The actress wore an outlandish dress to the awards ceremony.
Recent Examples on the Web Levant also said a lot of rude, brash, outlandish things for just for laughs, often with whipcrack timing. Michael Phillips, chicagotribune.com, 6 Apr. 2022 Manson’s spectral presence—too outlandish to sideline—only compounds the problem. Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, 22 Mar. 2022 As with many outlandish health claims supported by no evidence, the notion that low-level laser therapy will increase testosterone and fertility is not new. Derek Beres, Rolling Stone, 19 Apr. 2022 Already, an 8-ounce can of Katy Perry’s De Soi Purple Lune drink, a fizzy tea with rose and myrrh that comes with outlandish health claims about balance and stress relief, can be yours for $6. Virginia Heffernan, Wired, 19 Apr. 2022 Psychologists joined them less than a decade ago, partly in response to a surge in outlandish claims and mass delusions that spread on social media during the Obama and Trump eras. Elizabeth Williamson, Wired, 11 Mar. 2022 More surprising to many people, Maharashtra state police arrested 16 activists in connection with the riots, accusing them of an outlandish plot to assassinate the prime minister and charging them with sedition under an anti-terrorism law. Los Angeles Times, 26 Dec. 2021 Strikingly, the texts suggest Thomas really believed some of the outlandish right-wing conspiracy theories pushed by Trump and his allies. Joel Mathis, The Week, 25 Mar. 2022 Three candidates have appeared at events with prominent members of the QAnon movement and one proudly restates the group's outlandish conspiracy theories, which are unworthy of being restated here. Shirley N. Weber And Jocelyn Benson, CNN, 18 Feb. 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of outlandish

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of outlandish was before the 12th century

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Last Updated

14 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Outlandish.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/outlandish. Accessed 22 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for outlandish


out·​land·​ish | \ au̇t-ˈlan-dish How to pronounce outlandish (audio) \

Kids Definition of outlandish

: very strange or unusual : bizarre outlandish behavior outlandish clothes

More from Merriam-Webster on outlandish

Nglish: Translation of outlandish for Spanish Speakers


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