un·​usu·​al | \ ˌən-ˈyü-zhə-wəl How to pronounce unusual (audio) , -zhəl; -ˈyüzh-wəl\

Definition of unusual

: not usual : uncommon, rare

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Other Words from unusual

unusually adverb
unusualness noun

Examples of unusual in a Sentence

It's not unusual for him to stay late at work. a scene of unusual beauty She has an unusual name.
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Recent Examples on the Web

High pressure systems aren’t unusual, but according to Rick Thoman, a climatologist at the Alaska Center for Climate Assessment and Policy, there is no one answer for why this one has brought such high temperatures. Madeline Mcgee, Anchorage Daily News, "It’s hot in Southcentral Alaska. Here’s what experts say is happening.," 6 July 2019 From the small turret entryway to the putting green in the backyard, this $1,099,999 estate in Fishers is unusual. Emma Kate Fittes, Indianapolis Star, "Hot Property: A very unusual $1.1 million Fishers home," 28 June 2019 What is unusual here is the choice of tequila over the local liquor, baijiu. Noelle Mateer, Curbed, "Confronting change in Beijing’s historic hutong alleyways," 27 June 2019 Tonight’s flight will feature some unusual (for SpaceX) orbital choreography to help show the US Air Force that its newest rocket can deliver satellites on demand, setting the stage for lucrative future missions. Tim Fernholz, Quartz, "Watch SpaceX perform a complicated Falcon Heavy launch," 24 June 2019 Her idea for using that audience, though, was unusual. Nathan Heller, The New Yorker, "The Perverse Logic of GoFundMe Health Care," 24 June 2019 As unusual, the festival competition was an impressive win for breweries from, of all places, Los Angeles. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Benchmark Brewing’s final bow," 20 June 2019 The deer attack, which is highly unusual, happened at about 4:30 p.m. as the woman was walking her dog within city limits, according to Colorado Parks and Wildlife. Kieran Nicholson, The Denver Post, "Doe put down after attacking, seriously injuring 85-year-old woman in northwest Colorado," 12 June 2019 Karl, however, argues that what’s drawing them together is unusual, but meaningful, and shouldn’t be ignored. David Sims, The Atlantic, "Black Mirror: The Weird, Intriguing Intimacy of ‘Striking Vipers’," 5 June 2019

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

1579, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for unusual

Last Updated

8 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for unusual

The first known use of unusual was in 1579

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More Definitions for unusual



English Language Learners Definition of unusual

: not normal or usual
: different or strange in a way that attracts attention
: not commonly seen, heard, etc.


un·​usu·​al | \ ˌən-ˈyü-zhə-wəl How to pronounce unusual (audio) \

Kids Definition of unusual

: not done, found, used, experienced, or existing most of the time an unusual job an unusual odor

Other Words from unusual

unusually adverb

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More from Merriam-Webster on unusual

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for unusual

Spanish Central: Translation of unusual

Nglish: Translation of unusual for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of unusual for Arabic Speakers

Comments on unusual

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


food or victuals

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