Definition of uncanny
uncannilyplay \ˌən-ˈka-nə-lē\ adverb
uncanninessplay \ˌən-ˈka-nē-nəs\ noun
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Examples of uncanny in a Sentence
I was struck by his uncanny ability to communicate arcane, complex economic policy and by his punk-rock instinct to question the status quo. —Bono, Time, 18 Apr. 2005
To an economist, the 1990s bear an uncanny resemblance to two earlier decades: the 1920s in the United States and the 1980s in Japan. In all three decades, technological change produced extraordinary economic growth, leading to talk of a “new era” and triggering a bull market in stocks that terminated in a market collapse—widely regarded as the bursting of a speculative bubble. —Milton Friedman, Wall Street Journal, 22 Jan. 2002
As he approached quite close to the enclosure he saw an excited group surrounding the two fugitives, who, trembling with fright and exhaustion, were scarce able to recount the uncanny details of their adventure. —Edgar Rice Burroughs, Tarzan of the Apes, 1914
She could not teach herself to think favourably of Pansy, whose absence of initiative, of conversation, of personal claims, seemed to her, in a girl of twenty, unnatural and even uncanny. —Henry James, The Portrait of a Lady, 1881
She had an uncanny resemblance to someone I had seen before.
She has an uncanny sense of direction.
an uncanny ability to predict the weather
Recent Examples of uncanny from the Web
Better to use his uncanny vision to set up teammates than be greedy.
With his rugged, broad face, icy blue eyes and a head of thick auburn hair, Milo bears an uncanny resemblance to his pop (just look at those beards) — no doubt a good sign for his Hollywood future.
Curry will catch the ball and shoot it, with uncanny accuracy, in a quarter-second.
From the outside, the tips that Blaszczak fed to Wall Street clients on Medicare’s coming moves seemed uncanny.
Throughout his long political career, Edwards had always cultivated the image of a suave rogue with a quick wit, abundant charm and an uncanny knowledge of the way politics is played.
The show’s license to be uncanny is endorsed by the headlines, argues its star.
A 1927 Old Hermitage sour-mash whiskey had a whiff of funk and an uncanny roundness—this is what history tastes like.
The company has an uncanny ability to miss people on the emotional level: Its presence is big and heavy, like the Pentagon's.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'uncanny'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Did You Know?
Weird and eerie are synonyms of uncanny, but there are subtle differences in the meanings of the three words. Weird may be used to describe something that is generally strange or out of the ordinary. Eerie suggests an uneasy or fearful consciousness that some kind of mysterious and malign powers are at work, while uncanny, which debuted in the 18th century, implies disquieting strangeness or mysteriousness. English also has a word canny, but canny and uncanny should not be interpreted as opposites. Canny, which first appeared in English in the 16th century, means "clever," "shrewd" or "prudent," as in "a canny lawyer" or "a canny investment."
First Known Use of uncanny
Synonym Discussion of uncanny
UNCANNY Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of uncanny for English Language Learners
: strange or unusual in a way that is surprising or difficult to understand
UNCANNY Defined for Kids
Definition of uncanny for Students
1 : strange or unusual in a way that is surprising or mysterious an uncanny resemblance
2 : suggesting powers or abilities greater than normal an uncanny sense of direction
uncannily\-ˈka-nə-lē\ adverb They look uncannily similar.
Seen and Heard
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