un·​earth·​ly ˌən-ˈərth-lē How to pronounce unearthly (audio)
: not earthly: such as
: not mundane : ideal
unearthly love
: not terrestrial
unearthly radio sources
: preternatural, supernatural
an unearthly light
: weird, eerie
unearthly howls
: absurd, ungodly
gets up at an unearthly hour
unearthliness noun

Example Sentences

We left at the unearthly time of 5:00 a.m. an unearthly knack for picking winning lottery numbers
Recent Examples on the Web That unearthly beauty reaches its pinnacle in Op. 111, and in the series of sublime variations that make up its closing Arietta movement. Jeremy Eichler, BostonGlobe.com, 8 Mar. 2023 Charlie Watts, who died August 24th at age 80, combined the tastefulness of a jazz accompanist with an unearthly gift for groove and funk, driving the Rolling Stones for six decades straight, getting stadium-sized audiences all around the world out of their seats. Brian Hiatt, Rolling Stone, 10 Sep. 2021 But these materials only lost their resistance at unearthly, ultracold temperatures, which limited practical applications. Kenneth Chang, New York Times, 8 Mar. 2023 Its unearthly, unavoidable presence closed down beaches and dominated conversations. Jenna Scatena, The Atlantic, 18 Dec. 2021 A lot of that has to do with the unearthly conditions under which lunar regolith formed—it was pummeled by solar winds, cosmic rays and meteorite strikes for billions of years. Joanna Thompson, Scientific American, 2 June 2022 Three years ago, another rocket-armed passer with unearthly traits and unrefined skills entered the league as one of the most polarizing draft prospects in recent memory. Andrew Beaton, WSJ, 29 Apr. 2021 Those unearthly howls, shrieks, and grunts that burst out of tennis players' mouths may do more than just fill the silence of tennis stadiums. Eliza Strickland, Discover Magazine, 4 Oct. 2010 True hell would be failing to protect these unearthly wonders for generations to come. Jacqueline Keeler, Condé Nast Traveler, 1 Mar. 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'unearthly.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1611, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of unearthly was in 1611

Dictionary Entries Near unearthly

Cite this Entry

“Unearthly.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unearthly. Accessed 6 Jun. 2023.

Kids Definition


un·​earth·​ly ˌən-ˈərth-lē How to pronounce unearthly (audio)
: not of or belonging to the earth
unearthly terrain
: supernatural sense 2, weird, terrifying
an unearthly scream
unearthliness noun

More from Merriam-Webster on unearthly

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!