1 : of or relating to another country : foreign
2 a : strikingly out of the ordinary : bizarre
b : exceeding proper or reasonable limits or standards
3 : remote from civilization
Did You Know?
In olden times, English speakers used the phrase "outlandish man" to refer to a foreigner -- or, one who came from an outland, which originally meant "a foreign land." From here, "outlandish" broadened in usage from a word meaning "from another land" to one describing something unfamiliar or strange. Dress was a common early target for the adjective -- Henry Fielding, in Tom Jones (1749), writes of a woman "who was drest in one of your outlandish Garments." Nowadays, the word can be applied to anything that strikes us as out of the ordinary, as in the description of one man’s "outlandish proposal to replace the aging Tappan Zee Bridge with a seven-mile tunnel," from the New York Times, September 16, 2001.
Test Your Memory: What former Word of the Day means "lacking proper respect or seriousness"? The answer is ...
The author’s award-winning novels are noted for their lush, fantastical settings and outlandish characters.
"Lady Gaga has made a pop culture splash with her extravagant stage costumes and outlandish street clothes. But a wardrobe of oddball outfits isn't enough to turn a performer into an icon." -- From Washingtonpost.com, August 13, 2010
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