eerie

or ee·ry

[eer-ee]

adjective, ee·ri·er, ee·ri·est.

uncanny, so as to inspire superstitious fear; weird: an eerie midnight howl.
Chiefly Scot. affected with superstitious fear.

Nearby words

  1. eeny,
  2. eeo,
  3. eeoc,
  4. eephus pitch,
  5. eer,
  6. eery,
  7. ef-,
  8. efa,
  9. efate,
  10. efavirenz

Origin of eerie

1250–1300; Middle English eri, dialectal variant of argh, Old English earg cowardly; cognate with Old Frisian erg, Old Norse argr evil, German arg cowardly

Related formsee·ri·ly, adverbee·ri·ness, noun

Can be confusedaerie eerie Erie

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for eerie


British Dictionary definitions for eerie

eerie

adjective eerier or eeriest

(esp of places, an atmosphere, etc) mysteriously or uncannily frightening or disturbing; weird; ghostly
Derived Formseerily, adverbeeriness, noun

Word Origin for eerie

C13: originally Scottish and Northern English, probably from Old English earg cowardly, miserable

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for eerie

eerie

adj.

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper