- uncanny, so as to inspire superstitious fear; weird: an eerie midnight howl.
- Chiefly Scot. affected with superstitious fear.
Origin of eerie
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for eerily
The inauguration had to be held in the fortified Kremlin, surrounded by an eerily quiet city.Behind Bars for the Holidays: 11 Political Prisoners We Want to See Free In 2015
December 25, 2014
The house was eerily silent on a Friday morning after a huge party.I Was Gang Raped at a UVA Frat 30 Years Ago, and No One Did Anything
December 16, 2014
Each of the women had eerily similar stories that they offered to share on the stand.The Bill Cosby Controversy Stages of Grief
November 18, 2014
You could not order a taxi; the streets of Juarish were eerily deserted.Israel's Secret Honor Killings
March 8, 2014
The video was filmed before the massive violence that convulsed Kiev this week, but its message is eerily prescient.The Viral Heroine Of The Maidan
February 21, 2014
My humor enters into it, in no obvious way but eerily like a gay ghost.I, Mary MacLane
Earthquakes are eerily quiet -- at first, anyway -- but this wasn't quiet.Little Brother
Really, this was all so eerily interesting that she almost forgot the pain of her bandaged ankle.The Mystery of Jockey Hollow
The ship was eerily silent, dropping with a rising scream as the atmosphere touched the hull.A World is Born
Leigh Douglass Brackett
They sounded like small working sounds, blending in eerily mysterious fashion with a chorus of small voices.Houlihan's Equation
- (esp of places, an atmosphere, etc) mysteriously or uncannily frightening or disturbing; weird; ghostly
Word Origin and History for eerily
c.1300, "fearful, timid," north England and Scottish variant of Old English earg "cowardly, fearful," from Proto-Germanic *argaz (cf. Old Frisian erg "evil, bad," Middle Dutch arch "bad," Dutch arg, Old High German arg "cowardly, worthless," German arg "bad, wicked," Old Norse argr "unmanly, voluptuous," Swedish arg "malicious").
Sense of "causing fear because of strangeness" is first attested 1792. Related: Eerily. Finnish arka "cowardly" is a Germanic loan-word.