wall·​eyed ˈwȯl-ˈīd How to pronounce walleyed (audio)
: having walleyes or affected with walleye
: marked by a wild irrational staring of the eyes

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The noun walleye has several meanings. It can refer to an eye with a whitish or bluish-white iris or to one with an opaque white cornea. It can also refer to a condition in which the eye turns outward away from the nose. The extended second sense of the adjective walleyed came from the appearance of eyes affected with the condition of walleye. You might guess that walleyed has an etymological connection with wall, but that's not the case. Rather, it is derived from wawil-eghed, a Middle English translation of the Old Norse word vagl-eygr, from vagl ("beam") and eygr ("eyed").

Examples of walleyed in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web His walleyed, foul-smelling, hangnail of a classics teacher charts a course toward redemption, and the ride is enjoyable. Bill Goodykoontz, The Arizona Republic, 6 Mar. 2024 There is a painting of a walleyed man that looks like Neil Young, only stranger. Christopher Borrelli, chicagotribune.com, 3 May 2018

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

Word History


by folk etymology from Middle English wawil-eghed, partial translation of Old Norse vagl-eygr walleyed, from vagl beam (akin to Greek ochleus bar, Old English wegan to move, carry) + eygr eyed — more at way

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of walleyed was in the 15th century


Dictionary Entries Near walleyed

Cite this Entry

“Walleyed.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/walleyed. Accessed 24 Jun. 2024.

Medical Definition


wall·​eyed -ˈlīd How to pronounce walleyed (audio)
: having walleyes or affected with walleye
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