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From Middle English od, odde (odd (not even); leftover after division into pairs), from Old Norse oddi (odd, third or additional number; triangle), from oddr (point of a weapon), from Proto-Germanic *uzdaz (point), from Proto-Indo-European *wes- (to stick, prick, pierce, sting) + Proto-Indo-European *dʰeh₁- (to set, place). Cognate to Icelandic oddi (triangle, point of land, odd number), Swedish udd (a point), Norwegian Bokmål odde (a point”, “odd”, “peculiar); related to Old English ord (a point). Doublet of ord ("point").



odd (not generally comparable, comparative odder, superlative oddest)

  1. Differing from what is usual, ordinary or expected.
    Synonyms: unusual, strange; see also Thesaurus:strange
    Antonyms: common, familiar, mediocre; see also Thesaurus:common
    She slept in, which was very odd.
    • 1898, Winston Churchill, chapter 5, in The Celebrity:
      We made an odd party before the arrival of the Ten, particularly when the Celebrity dropped in for lunch or dinner. He could not be induced to remain permanently at Mohair because Miss Trevor was at Asquith, but he appropriated a Hempstead cart from the Mohair stables and made the trip sometimes twice in a day.
    1. Peculiar, singular and strange in looks or character; eccentric, bizarre.
      • 2003, Kenneth Rubin, Andrea Thompson, The Friendship Factor, Penguin (→ISBN):
        [One of them would] say, 'Hi, Mother.' This might be Chrissie with the purple hair and black lipstick, or Adam, who usually wore odd leather stuff. Sometimes 'Hi' was all I heard; other times they'd stay and talk for a minute.
  2. (not comparable) Without a corresponding mate in a pair or set; unmatched; (of a pair or set) mismatched.
    Synonyms: single, mismatched
    Optimistically, he had a corner of a drawer for odd socks.
    My cat Fluffy has odd eyes: one blue and one brown.
  3. (not comparable) Left over, remaining after the rest have been paired or grouped.
    I'm the odd one out.
  4. (not comparable) Left over or remaining (as a small amount) after counting, payment, etc.
    • 2009, Sam O'Connor, Tales of Old Las Vegas: Inside are a Few Stories Set in the 60's, where There was More to the Action Than the Games, AuthorHouse (→ISBN), page 187:
      "Here, I have some odd change that should make things easier." As Tish turned and reached for the cigarettes, Eric took some loose coins from his pocket and placed the change from the twenty into his other pocket.
    • 2010, Chris Thomas, The Rockefeller Fraud, Xulon Press (→ISBN), page 24:
      Third was my college loan of five thousand dollars and some odd change.
  5. (not comparable) Scattered; occasional, infrequent; not forming part of a set or pattern.
    I don't speak Latin well, so in hearing a dissertation in Latin, I would only be able to make out the odd word of it.
    but for the odd exception
    • 1998, Anton Pavlovich Chekhov, Ronald Hingley, Five Plays, Oxford University Press, USA (→ISBN), page 148:
      There are odd bits of green here and there in patches, but no continuous stretches. The elk, swans and woodgrouse are no more. The old hamlets, farmsteads, hermitages and mills have vanished without trace.
  6. (not comparable) Not regular or planned.
    He's only worked odd jobs.
  7. (not comparable) Used or employed for odd jobs.
    • 1879, Journal of Horticulture and Practical Gardening, page 262:
      The odd horse will now be employed in carting couch grass on to pasture land, carting hay, &c, to sheep in the field, carting roots, straw, &c, for feeding cattle in the boxes or dairy cows in the stalls or yards, and in various odd jobs on the farm  ...
    • 1894, Great Britain. Parliament. House of Commons, Sessional papers. Inventory control record 1, page 57:
      At about 14 he rises a step by getting the 'odd' horse and cart, and does all the small carting work about the farm.
    • 1912, John Burleigh, Ednam and Its Indwellers
      There is also the “orra man '' who, like the odd horse, is kept busy on odd jobs.
  8. (mathematics, not comparable) Numerically indivisible by two.
    Antonym: even
    The product of odd numbers is also odd.
    • 1998 January 15, “Collusion in the Stockmarket”, in The Economist:
      In their original article, Messrs Christie and Schultz found that in 70 of the 100 most heavily traded stocks, Nasdaq dealers avoided quoting prices in odd eighths of a dollar. Buyers were far more likely to quote shares at 28 1/2 or 28 3/4 than at 28 5/8.
  9. (not comparable) Numbered with an odd number.
    How do I print only the odd pages?
  10. (not comparable, in combination with a number) About, approximately; somewhat more than (an approximated round number).
    Synonyms: see Thesaurus:about, Thesaurus:approximately
    There were thirty-odd people in the room.
  11. Out of the way, secluded.
    • 1958, Henry Miller, The Colossus of Maroussi, New Directions Publishing (→ISBN), page 218:
      "Well, isn't it a bit unusual to run into an old friend in an odd corner of the world like this?" I asked.
    • 2015, Karen Newcomb, The Postage Stamp Vegetable Garden: Grow Tons of Organic Vegetables in Tiny Spaces and Containers, Ten Speed Press (→ISBN):
      Plant a clump in your postage stamp garden, or stuff them in an odd corner of a flower bed. (They prefer full sun but will tolerate filtered shade.)
  12. (sports) On the left.
    He served from the odd court.
  13. (obsolete) Singular in excellence; matchless; peerless; outstanding. [since the 1400s]
    • 1886, Walter William Skeat, The Wars of Alexander: An Alliterative Romance Translated Chiefly from the Historia Alexandri Magni de Preliis, page 120, in (modern English) notes about the Middle English text:
      He goes to Phrygia, and sees Scamander. "Happy are all," he says, "who are honoured by that odd clerk. Homer." In Macedonia, he finds hie mother.
    • Walter Scott, Guy Mannering – or The Astrologer:
      I assure you, if I were Hazlewood I should look on his compliments, his bowings, his cloakings, his shawlings, and his handings with some little suspicion; and truly I think Hazlewood does so too at some odd times.

Derived termsEdit

Related termsEdit



odd (plural odds)

  1. (mathematics, diminutive) An odd number.
    So let's see. There are two evens here and three odds.
  2. (colloquial) Something left over, not forming part of a set.
    I've got three complete sets of these trading cards for sale, plus a few dozen odds.


Further readingEdit



Middle EnglishEdit



  1. Alternative form of od