\ ˈstrānj How to pronounce strange (audio) \
stranger; strangest

Definition of strange

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : different from what is usual, ordinary, or expected : odd a strange sound a strange person the cat's strange behavior
b : not before known, heard, or seen : unfamiliar customs that were strange to him feeling lost in a strange city
2a : not entirely comfortable or well : uncomfortable, ill at ease felt a strange sensation in the pit of my stomach I left Lady Glyde … and joined Mrs. Rubelle, with the object of kindly preventing her from feeling strange and nervous in consequence of the uncertainty of her situation.— Wilkie Collins
b dated : discouraging familiarities : reserved, distant … why did you break off our confidences and become quite strange to me?— George Bernard Shaw
3 : unaccustomed sense 2 She was strange to his ways.
4a : not native to or naturally belonging in a place : of external origin, kind, or character
b archaic : of, relating to, or characteristic of another country : foreign


noun, often attributive

Definition of strange (Entry 2 of 2)

: a fundamental quark that has an electric charge of −¹/₃ and a measured energy of approximately 150 MeV also : the flavor characterizing this particle

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Other Words from strange


strangely adverb

Choose the Right Synonym for strange


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

Examples of strange in a Sentence

Adjective Does his behavior seem strange to you? Truth is sometimes stranger than fiction. That is one of the strangest creatures I have ever seen. He gave me a strange look. Strange as it may seem, I don't like walking barefoot on the grass. It's strange that nobody told me about this before. That's strange. He was here a minute ago. The strange thing is that nobody saw him enter or leave the building. Children are taught not to talk to strange people. The language was strange to me.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Given these power outages, this experience may produce the rather strange and idiosyncratic stories that make up the corpus of NDE reports. Christof Koch, Scientific American, "What Near-Death Experiences Reveal about the Brain," 19 May 2020 Slice knots give mathematicians a way to probe the strange nature of four-dimensional space, in which two-dimensional spheres can be knotted, sometimes in such crumpled ways that they can’t be smoothed out. Quanta Magazine, "Graduate Student Solves Decades-Old Conway Knot Problem," 19 May 2020 But the strange new world that awaits the continent in the pandemic’s next phase is inspiring more fear than hope. Marcus Walker, WSJ, "‘This Is a Science-Fiction Screenplay’: Europeans Re-Emerge to a New Normal," 19 May 2020 The prequel is stranger than its predecessors, and funnier, overlong, dangerously goofy. Darren Franich,, "The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes review: Hunger Games prequel's darkly funny, way too long," 19 May 2020 But, as with that sea and the animal born there, the boundaries of this knowledge are fluid and strange. Brooke Jarvis, The New Yorker, "Where Do Eels Come From?," 18 May 2020 Jonathan Vigliotti: Is Lori part of some strange cult? CBS News, "Search for missing Idaho children reveals "no sign of life, no sign of death"," 16 May 2020 Inexplicable noises, spectral sightings, sudden drops in temperature—something strange is going on at the British Museum. Killian Fox, The Economist, "Stories of an extraordinary world Are ghosts haunting the British Museum?," 15 May 2020 Keep an eye out for strange spelling and anything weird in the URL. Diya Chacko, Los Angeles Times, "Coronavirus Today: A revised death forecast," 11 May 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Londonleaf Lane, 3433-Julie A. Strange to Jeremy D. Vitiello and Natsumi Takahashi, $243,000. Washington Post, "Home sales in Anne Arundel and Howard counties," 17 May 2017 Strange, then Alabama's attorney general, was appointed to the Senate in February by Bentley. Paul Gattis |,, "Mo Brooks campaign for Senate blasted by Washington PAC backing Luther Strange," 15 May 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'strange.' 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 strange


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 4b


1974, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for strange


Middle English, from Anglo-French estrange, from Latin extraneus, literally, external, from extra outside — more at extra-

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Time Traveler for strange

Time Traveler

The first known use of strange was in the 13th century

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Last Updated

23 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Strange.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for strange


How to pronounce strange (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of strange

: different from what is usual, normal, or expected
: not known, heard, or seen before
: not entirely comfortable or well


\ ˈstrānj How to pronounce strange (audio) \
stranger; strangest

Kids Definition of strange

1 : unfamiliar sense 1 strange surroundings
2 : different from what is usual, normal, or expected a strange sight strange behavior
3 : not relaxed : uneasy I felt strange on the first day at school.

Other Words from strange

strangely adverb
strangeness noun

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More from Merriam-Webster on strange

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for strange

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with strange

Spanish Central: Translation of strange

Nglish: Translation of strange for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of strange for Arabic Speakers

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