a person or thing that is atypical, bizarre, eccentric, or nonconforming, especially one having beliefs that are unusual but harmless.


whimsically free-spirited; eccentric; atypical: an oddball scheme.

Origin of oddball

An Americanism dating back to 1940–45; odd + ball1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for oddball

misfit, weird, crackpot, batty, odd, peculiar, strange, kooky

Examples from the Web for oddball

Contemporary Examples of oddball

Historical Examples of oddball

  • His father, Vanneman Porter, had been an oddball in his own way, too.

    By Proxy

    Gordon Randall Garrett

  • Somewhere up in the house is this oddball Maxwell who hides out all the time.

    The Fourth R

    George Oliver Smith

British Dictionary definitions for oddball



Also called: odd bod, odd fish a strange or eccentric person


strange or peculiar
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 oddball

"eccentric or unconventional person," 1948, from odd + ball (n.1). Earlier (1946) as an adjective, used by aviators.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper