\ ˈwird How to pronounce weird (audio) \

Definition of weird

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : of strange or extraordinary character : odd, fantastic
2 : of, relating to, or caused by witchcraft or the supernatural : magical



Definition of weird (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : fate, destiny especially : ill fortune

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Other Words from weird


weirdness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for weird


weird, eerie, uncanny mean mysteriously strange or fantastic. weird may imply an unearthly or supernatural strangeness or it may stress peculiarity or oddness. weird creatures from another world eerie suggests an uneasy or fearful consciousness that mysterious and malign powers are at work. an eerie calm preceded the bombing raid uncanny implies disquieting strangeness or mysteriousness. an uncanny resemblance between total strangers

Shakespeare's Connection to Weird


You may know today's word as a generalized term describing something unusual, but weird also has older meanings that are more specific. Weird derives from the Old English noun wyrd, essentially meaning "fate." By the 8th century, the plural wyrde had begun to appear in texts as a gloss for Parcae, the Latin name for the Fates—three goddesses who spun, measured, and cut the thread of life. In the 15th and 16th centuries, Scots authors employed werd or weird in the phrase "weird sisters" to refer to the Fates. William Shakespeare adopted this usage in Macbeth, in which the "weird sisters" are depicted as three witches. Subsequent adjectival use of weird grew out of a reinterpretation of the weird used by Shakespeare.

Examples of weird in a Sentence

Adjective Cosmic strings are second only to black holes in the astrophysicist's pantheon of weird objects. They are narrow, ultradense filaments formed during a phase transition—called inflation—within the first microsecond of cosmic history. — Steve Nadis, Astronomy, October 2005 If you looked at them closely you realized they were carved with weird, pagan creatures, more like hobgoblins than men, half hidden among trees and leaves—here acanthus and there what looked like a palm tree. — Kate Atkinson, Case Histories, 2004 As an extended fictional device allegory is used mainly in didactic, satirical fables, such as Gulliver's Travels, Animal Farm and Erewhon. In these masterpieces a surface realism of presentation gives the fantastic events a kind of weird plausibility … — David Lodge, The Art of Fiction, 1992 My little brother acts weird sometimes. I heard a weird noise. That's weird—I put my book down right here just a few minutes ago and now it's gone.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Rami Malek plays a hacker named Elliot, who is recruited to join an elite group of tech revolutionaries, and, well…things get weird. Brian Tallerico, Vulture, "The 50 Best TV Shows on Amazon Prime Right Now," 1 Feb. 2021 Because, no, this Twitter beef just wasn’t weird enough. Danielle Campoamor,, "Ted Cruz & Seth Rogen Are In A Twitter Feud — Yes, Really," 26 Jan. 2021 In 2009's Demon's Souls, the illumination is just plain weird—supercharged and coming from no clear source. Julie Muncy, Wired, "The New Demon's Souls Remake Tries Too Hard to Be Realistic," 24 Nov. 2020 When the fans return, the arena will feel a little less weird. Mike Finger, San Antonio Express-News, "In new age of sports, increased injury concerns might linger," 28 Jan. 2021 The videos are also weird: strangely intimate, almost voyeuristic. New York Times, "The Strange Voyeurism of Watching Someone Else Get Vaccinated," 20 Jan. 2021 Well, the cast of characters is roughly the same—it’d be weird if their name was in the title and at least some of them didn’t show up—but this time around they’re led by Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn. Angela Watercutter, Wired, "26 Movies We Want to See in 2021—One Way or Another," 5 Jan. 2021 Far below the headlines of Alabama, Ohio State, Notre Dame and Clemson, the scramble was weird — and in the case of Army, painful. Pat Graham,, "Army left out in Bowl Day marred by cancellations, opt outs," 21 Dec. 2020 The spectacle this summer of white penitents kneeling before their black brethren to beg forgiveness for their sins was weird only when viewed from a secular perspective. Gerard Baker, WSJ, "How the Woke Stole Christmas," 21 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun When stay-at-home measures aimed at curbing the spread of COVID-19 went into effect earlier this spring, something weird happened to our sense of geography. Ashley Fetters, The Atlantic, "What Happened to the People Who Started Dating Just Before the Pandemic?," 31 May 2020 Something weird happened on the oil market last week. Daniel Oberhaus, Wired, "The World Is Still Producing More Oil Than It Needs. Why?," 1 May 2020 The antidote to the winter weirds is to stay active and go outside. Alli Harvey, Anchorage Daily News, "Hello darkness, my old friend. I will play outside to survive you.," 21 Dec. 2019 Our family of weirds won’t be the same without him. Michele Corriston,, "Marvelous Mrs. Maisel's Michael Zegen Remembers 'Iconic' Late Costar Brian Tarantina," 7 Nov. 2019 But there’s no more time to rest, Betty’s alarm is blaring and her mother and brother are acting like nothing weird happened the night before. Jessica Macleish, Teen Vogue, ""Riverdale" Recap Season 2 Episode 13: Archie Learns the Truth About Agent Adams," 8 Feb. 2018 Lewis called the off-season market weird, especially for guys his age. Stefan Stevenson,, "Colby Lewis hoped to return but Rangers never offered guarantee," 16 June 2017

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


1817, in the meaning defined at sense 2


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for weird


from construal as an adjective of weird entry 2 in weird sisters, name for the Fates of Greek and Roman myth (early Scots werd sisteris, Middle English wyrde systeres, Shakespeare weyard/weyward sisters, applied to the witches in Macbeth)


Middle English wird, werd, going back to Old English wyrd, going back to Germanic *wurdi- "fate, chance" (whence Old Saxon wurđ "fate," Old High German wurt, Old Norse urðr), derivative from the base of *werþan- "to come about, happen, become" — more at worth entry 4

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Time Traveler for weird

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The first known use of weird was before the 12th century

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Last Updated

17 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Weird.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Feb. 2021.

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More Definitions for weird



English Language Learners Definition of weird

: unusual or strange


\ ˈwird How to pronounce weird (audio) \
weirder; weirdest

Kids Definition of weird

: very unusual : strange So what if I have weird eyebrows and funny toes?— Judy Blume, Sheila the Great

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More from Merriam-Webster on weird

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for weird

Nglish: Translation of weird for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of weird for Arabic Speakers

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