Last modified on 7 July 2014, at 11:00

weird

English

Alternative forms

Etymology

From Middle English werde, wierde, wirde, wyrede, wurde, from Old English wyrd, wurd (that which happens, fate, chance, fortune, destiny, Fate, the Fates, Providence, event, phenomenon, transaction, fact, deed), from Proto-Germanic *wurdiz (fate, destiny), from Proto-Indo-European *wert- (to turn, wind). Cognate with Middle Low German wrd, wrth (fate, death), Middle High German wurt (fate, death), Icelandic urður (fate). Related to Old English weorþan (to become). More at worth.

Pronunciation

Noun

weird (plural weirds)

  1. (archaic) Fate; destiny; luck.
    • 1912, Euripides, Medea, trans. Arthur S. Way (Heinemenn 1946, p. 361)
      In the weird of death shall the hapless be whelmed, and from Doom’s dark prison / Shall she steal forth never again.
  2. A prediction.
  3. (obsolete, Scotland) A spell or charm.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Sir Walter Scott to this entry?)
  4. That which comes to pass; a fact.
  5. (archaic, in the plural) The Fates (personified).

Synonyms

Derived terms

Adjective

weird (comparative weirder, superlative weirdest)

  1. Connected with fate or destiny; able to influence fate.
  2. Of or pertaining to witches or witchcraft; supernatural; unearthly; suggestive of witches, witchcraft, or unearthliness; wild; uncanny.
    • Longfellow
      Those sweet, low tones, that seemed like a weird incantation.
    • Shakespeare, Macbeth, Act 1 Scene 5
      Whiles I stood rapt in the wonder of it, came missives from the king, who all-hailed me, 'Thane of Cawdor'; by which title, before, these weird sisters saluted me, and referred me to the coming on of time, with 'Hail, king that shalt be!'
  3. Having supernatural or preternatural power.
    There was a weird light shining above the hill.
  4. Having an unusually strange character or behaviour.
    There are lots of weird people in this place.
  5. Deviating from the normal; bizarre.
    It was quite weird to bump into all my ex-girlfriends on the same day.
  6. (archaic) Of or pertaining to the Fates.

Usage notes

Synonyms

Derived terms

Translations

Verb

weird (third-person singular simple present weirds, present participle weirding, simple past and past participle weirded)

  1. (transitive) To destine; doom; change by witchcraft or sorcery.
  2. (transitive) To warn solemnly; adjure.
  3. (transitive) See weird out.
    That joke really weirded me out.

Anagrams


Scots

Etymology

From Old English wyrd (fate, destiny).

Pronunciation

Noun

weird (plural weirds)

  1. fate, fortune, destiny, one's own particular fate or appointed lot
  2. event destined to happen, a god's decree, omen, prophecy, prediction
  3. wizard, warlock, one having deep or supernatural skill or knowledge

Derived terms

Adjective

weird (comparative mair weird, superlative maist weird)

  1. troublesome, mischievous, harmful

Verb

tae weird (third-person singular simple present weirds, present participle weirdin, simple past weirdit, past participle weirdit)

  1. to ordain by fate, destine, assign a specific fate or fortune to, allot
  2. to imprecate, invoke
  3. to prophesy, prognosticate the fate of, warn ominously