\ 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 The 2020 Travelers Championship was weird, to say the least. Shawn Mcfarland,, "Dustin Johnson, who’s dominant 2020 season started at the Travelers Championship, looks forward to his return — with a little more normalcy," 10 May 2021 There’s weird stuff happening at Point Reyes National Seashore north of the San Francisco Bay Area, where more than 150 tule elk died this winter. Los Angeles Times, "My friend was killed riding a bike. He wanted cities built for people, not cars," 15 Apr. 2021 Normally an hours-long wait wouldn't be fun to follow along with, but 2021 is weird, so carry on. Leanza Abucayan, CNN, "How to cure your boredom while waiting in line for the Covid-19 vaccine," 27 Mar. 2021 But what was weird was, Pop was a real careful guy. David Fear, Rolling Stone, "Eddie Huang’s ‘Boogie’ Wonderland," 24 Mar. 2021 Johnny’s appearance will no longer be weird after buying the Nomad car from Lana. Paul Tassi, Forbes, "Here Are The ‘Cyberpunk 2077’ Hotfix 1.22 Patch Notes," 28 Apr. 2021 Maybe everyone does and it’s just because boobs are weird. Karina Hoshikawa,, "We Tried On Parade’s New Bralettes & Here’s The Boob-Scoop," 21 Apr. 2021 Very weird all around, but what IS a normal way to react to your body being turned into a panopticon run by your psychotic billionaire husband? Jessica Goldstein, Vulture, "Made for Love Recap: Coming Out of My Cage and I’ve Been Doing Just Fine," 15 Apr. 2021 At the arena, my [employment situation] is a little weird. Jonathan Bernstein, Rolling Stone, "How to Mix Sound for Masked Singers and Empty Arenas," 14 Apr. 2021 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

12 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Weird.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 May. 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

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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