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

Gigi rocked an all-white boiler suit, with an unusual pair of gloves. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Bella Hadid and Gigi Hadid Are Totally Twinning at Paris Fashion Week," 2 Mar. 2019 That kind of twist isn’t unusual for Blumhouse Productions. Noel Murray, The Verge, "Hulu’s horror anthology Into the Dark represents the good and bad sides of Blumhouse Productions," 5 Oct. 2018 Being pummeled by the Left is not unusual for district attorneys, because the Left generally is more interested in finding excuses for bad behavior than in punishing it. Stu Bykofsky, Philly.com, "Is death penalty turning Krasnerphilia into Krasnerphobia? | Stu Bykofsky," 3 July 2018 The bipartisan appointment process that brought Kennedy to the Court is unusual in modern America. Akhil Reed Amar, Time, "What Justice Kennedy's Legacy Could Mean for the Future of the Supreme Court," 29 June 2018 And while that’s not unusual for an industry that has historically overlooked women in the director’s chair (after all, a total of 440 men and five women have been nominated for the Best Director Oscar), this year represented a backslide. Yolanda Machado, Marie Claire, "Meet Anna Boden, Marvel's First-Ever Female Director and the Woman Behind 'Captain Marvel'," 8 Jan. 2019 Here's a close-up detail of the bag, which features an unusual handle: White has shown up more than a few times on the red carpet tonight. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "See Jamie Lee Curtis Absolutely Crush the Golden Globes Red Carpet," 7 Jan. 2019 From the outside, the roofs’ unusual convex slopes come together to create eaves that softly fold into and arch over each other. Liz Stinson, Curbed, "Modern Japanese house in the woods looks like fallen leaves," 14 Dec. 2018 That unusual business move makes a lot more sense knowing that Purdue’s owners also owned a company that sells generic opioids. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "Mega-rich family behind opioid crisis has second, secret opioid company," 10 Sep. 2018

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

18 Mar 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

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a flaw that causes the downfall of a hero

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