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.

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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 - 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.

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

In the end, Kim trims out a lot of Kanye's more outlandish ideas and is able to pull of an enviable evening that leaves her enough change in the bank to sleep at night. Morgan Baila, refinery29.com, "Keeping Up With The Kardashians," 6 June 2019 Park said the most exciting scenes to write were those starring Keanu Reeves, who plays Sasha’s new beau and an outlandish parody of himself. Sonia Rao, Twin Cities, "‘Always Be My Maybe’ is the romantic comedy Randall Park and Ali Wong always wanted to make," 3 June 2019 The heiress finished off the cheeky look with an outlandish pair of yellow-framed sunglasses and some fingerless lace gloves. Rachel Hahn, Vogue, "Paris Hilton Celebrated World Emoji Day in Ridiculous Fashion," 18 July 2018 More sock than sneaker, the Vetements-slash-Reebok take's distinct retro-gym-sock-stripe design and multi-part sole made for a particularly outlandish pair of kicks. Tyler Watamanuk, GQ, "Reebok's Newest Sock Sneaker Looks Like It Should Cost a Thousand Bucks," 11 May 2018 Over his 40-plus years in Hollywood, the former child star has made headlines for many reasons, from his blockbuster films to his outlandish statements and wild TV appearances. Julia Marzovilla, Billboard, "Corey Feldman's Career Timeline: Child Stardom & Beyond," 28 Mar. 2018 After all, which seems more outlandish: that Domino's is using your pizza pictures to explore the possibility of automating away its workforce, or that Domino's is not using your pizza pictures for anything at all? Eric Limer, Popular Mechanics, "Domino's Pizza-Spotting App Is a Window Into a Future of Justified Paranoia," 20 Feb. 2019 Ask yourself: does the product look legitimate? Is the company making outlandish claims? Sam Byford, The Verge, "The Falcon is a cute 8-inch laptop that folds into a janky tablet," 5 Dec. 2018 Following a hearty supper prepared by Miss Glennie, the party of 11 had settled in for a card game when Billy Ray made an outlandish claim. Maria Carter, Country Living, "The Eerie Story Behind the Small Town Everyone Is Flocking to for the Eclipse This Summer," 21 July 2017

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.

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First Known Use of outlandish

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

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Statistics for outlandish

Last Updated

21 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for outlandish

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

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More Definitions for outlandish



English Language Learners Definition of outlandish

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


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

Kids Definition of outlandish

: very strange or unusual : bizarre outlandish behavior outlandish clothes

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More from Merriam-Webster on outlandish

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for outlandish

Spanish Central: Translation of outlandish

Nglish: Translation of outlandish for Spanish Speakers

Comments on outlandish

What made you want to look up outlandish? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to take the place or position of

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