adjective, strang·er, strang·est.
  1. unusual, extraordinary, or curious; odd; queer: a strange remark to make.
  2. estranged, alienated, etc., as a result of being out of one's natural environment: I felt strange as I walked through the crowded marketplace.
  3. situated, belonging, or coming from outside of one's own locality; foreign: to move to a strange place; strange religions.
  4. outside of one's previous experience; hitherto unknown; unfamiliar: strange faces; strange customs.
  5. unaccustomed to or inexperienced in; unacquainted (usually followed by to): I'm strange to this part of the job.
  6. distant or reserved; shy.
  1. in a strange manner.

Origin of strange

1250–1300; Middle English < Old French estrange < Latin extrāneus; see extraneous
Related formsstrange·ly, adverbun·strange, adjectiveun·strange·ly, adverbun·strange·ness, noun

Synonyms for strange

1. bizarre, singular, abnormal, anomalous. Strange, peculiar, odd, queer refer to that which is out of the ordinary. Strange implies that the thing or its cause is unknown or unexplained; it is unfamiliar and unusual: a strange expression. That which is peculiar mystifies, or exhibits qualities not shared by others: peculiar behavior. That which is odd is irregular or unconventional, and sometimes approaches the bizarre: an odd custom. Queer sometimes adds to odd the suggestion of something abnormal and eccentric: queer in the head. 6. aloof.

Antonyms for strange

4–6. familiar. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for strangest

Contemporary Examples of strangest

Historical Examples of strangest

  • For a woman of her refinement, she had the strangest proclivity for low company!

    Weighed and Wanting

    George MacDonald

  • Then, in that strangest summer in Dorcas's life, time seemed to stand still.

    Meadow Grass

    Alice Brown

  • At length he pushed his plate from him, and spoke aloud; with the strangest inconsistency.

    Little Dorrit

    Charles Dickens

  • He crossed the Square with the strangest, jauntiest step ever seen in Plattville.

  • Pierre was feeling very moved, for was not this the strangest of adventures?

British Dictionary definitions for strangest


  1. odd, unusual, or extraordinary in appearance, effect, manner, etc; peculiar
  2. not known, seen, or experienced before; unfamiliara strange land
  3. not easily explaineda strange phenomenon
  4. (usually foll by to) inexperienced (in) or unaccustomed (to)strange to a task
  5. not of one's own kind, locality, etc; alien; foreign
  6. shy; distant; reserved
  7. strange to say it is unusual or surprising that
  8. physics
    1. denoting a particular flavour of quark
    2. denoting or relating to a hypothetical form of matter composed of such quarksstrange matter; a strange star
  1. not standard in a strange manner
Derived Formsstrangely, adverb

Word Origin for strange

C13: from Old French estrange, from Latin extrāneus foreign; see extraneous
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 strangest



late 13c., "from elsewhere, foreign, unknown, unfamiliar," from Old French estrange (French étrange) "foreign, alien," from Latin extraneus "foreign, external," from extra "outside of" (see extra). Sense of "queer, surprising" is attested from late 14c. Stranger, attested from late 14c., never picked up the secondary sense of the adjective. As a form of address to an unknown person, it is recorded from 1817, American English rural colloquial. Meaning "one who has stopped visiting" is recorded from 1520s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper