seeming not to belong to this earth or world: unearthly beauty.
supernatural; ghostly; unnaturally strange; weird: an unearthly scream.
out of the ordinary; unreasonable or absurd: to get up at an unearthly hour.

Origin of unearthly

First recorded in 1605–15; un-1 + earthly
Related formsun·earth·li·ness, noun

Synonyms for unearthly

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

Examples from the Web for unearthly

Historical Examples of unearthly

  • It was motionless as marble; but never had she seen anything so beautiful, and so unearthly.


    Lydia Maria Child

  • "What an unearthly hour," he said, unable to check the yawns.

  • When first I saw the donkey I saw him in the sunlight as the unearthly gargoyle that he is.

    Alarms and Discursions

    G. K. Chesterton

  • The steel-shod sides were bathed in an unearthly orange glow.

    Pirates of the Gorm

    Nat Schachner

  • It covered the dawn, the clouding and the unearthly sunset of a hope.

British Dictionary definitions for unearthly



ghostly; eerie; weirdunearthly screams
heavenly; sublimeunearthly music
ridiculous or unreasonable (esp in the phrase unearthly hour)
Derived Formsunearthliness, noun
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 unearthly

1610s, "heavenly, sublime," from un- (1) "not" + earthly. Sense of "ghostly, weird" first recorded 1802. Related: Unearthliness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper