\ 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

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 weird as a generalized term describing something unusual, but this word 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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective But this whole thing has been weird, so who knows, maybe Outriders 2 somehow gets announced by the end of the year regardless of the apparent logic. Paul Tassi, Forbes, 6 May 2022 And the songs are incomparable–so weird and wonderful. Liza Lentini, SPIN, 29 Apr. 2022 Being a teen is weird, and being in a time where people need a release and need to blow off some steam – that song has that. Hannah Dailey, Billboard, 18 Apr. 2022 The weird thing is, the call is one of who-knows-how-many that came during a seven-hour gap in the White House call logs. Robert Gehrke, The Salt Lake Tribune, 7 Apr. 2022 It’s this weird thing that exists but doesn’t exist all at the same time. Ben Flanagan |, al, 4 Apr. 2022 There’s one more weird thing about Moon Knight, not just the finale. Chris Smith, BGR, 30 Mar. 2022 RT America was so weird, and that’s the first thing anyone would need to know about it. Kaitlyn Tiffany, The Atlantic, 28 Mar. 2022 Until then, and even after, there is nothing wrong or weird about having unreciprocated crushes. Elissa Strauss, CNN, 26 Mar. 2022 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, 31 May 2020 Something weird happened on the oil market last week. Daniel Oberhaus, Wired, 1 May 2020 The antidote to the winter weirds is to stay active and go outside. Alli Harvey, Anchorage Daily News, 21 Dec. 2019 Our family of weirds won’t be the same without him. Michele Corriston,, 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, 8 Feb. 2018 Lewis called the off-season market weird, especially for guys his age. Stefan Stevenson,, 16 June 2017 See More

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.

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

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Last Updated

12 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Weird.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for weird


\ 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, Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great

More from Merriam-Webster on weird

Nglish: Translation of weird for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of weird for Arabic Speakers


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