[ pi-kyool-yer ]
See synonyms for: peculiarpeculiarly on

  1. strange; queer; odd: peculiar happenings.

  2. uncommon; unusual: the peculiar hobby of stuffing and mounting bats.

  1. distinctive in nature or character from others.

  2. belonging characteristically (usually followed by to): an expression peculiar to Canadians.

  3. belonging exclusively to some person, group, or thing: the peculiar properties of a drug.

  4. Astronomy. designating a star or galaxy with special properties that deviates from others of its spectral type or galaxy class.

  1. a property or privilege belonging exclusively or characteristically to a person.

  2. British. a particular parish or church that is exempted from the jurisdiction of the ordinary or bishop in whose diocese it lies and is governed by another.

  1. peculiars. Also called arbitraries. British Printing. special characters not generally included in standard type fonts, as phonetic symbols, mathematical symbols, etc.

Origin of peculiar

First recorded in 1400–50; late Middle English; from Latin pecūliāris “as one's own,” equivalent to pecūli(um) “property” (derivative of pecū “flock, farm animals”; akin to pecus “cattle” (see fee)) + -āris-ar1

synonym study For peculiar

1. See strange.

Other words for peculiar

Opposites for peculiar

Other words from peculiar

  • pe·cu·liar·ly, adverb
  • un·pe·cu·liar, adjective
  • un·pe·cu·liar·ly, adverb

Words Nearby peculiar Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use peculiar in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for peculiar


/ (pɪˈkjuːlɪə) /

  1. strange or unusual; odd: a peculiar individual; a peculiar idea

  2. distinct from others; special

  1. (postpositive foll by to) belonging characteristically or exclusively (to): peculiar to North America

  1. Also called: arbitrary printing a special sort, esp an accented letter

  2. Church of England a church or parish that is exempt from the jurisdiction of the ordinary in whose diocese it lies

Origin of peculiar

C15: from Latin pecūliāris concerning private property, from pecūlium, literally: property in cattle, from pecus cattle

Derived forms of peculiar

  • peculiarly, adverb

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