Definition of strange in English:

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Pronunciation: /streɪn(d)ʒ/


1Unusual or surprising; difficult to understand or explain: children have some strange ideas he’s a very strange man [with clause]: it is strange how things change
More example sentences
  • It is strange how ideas such as these last almost as long as brick and mortar buildings.
  • It was strange how the country air smelled so different from the city air.
  • It is strange how such concealment goes hand in hand with record-breaking council tax rises.
unusual, odd, curious, peculiar, funny, bizarre, weird, uncanny, queer, unexpected, unfamiliar, abnormal, atypical, anomalous, untypical, different, out of the ordinary, out of the way, extraordinary, remarkable, puzzling, mystifying, mysterious, perplexing, baffling, unaccountable, inexplicable, incongruous, uncommon, irregular, singular, deviant, aberrant, freak, freakish, surreal;
suspicious, dubious, questionable;
eerie, unnatural;
French outré;
Scottish  unco
informal fishy, creepy, spooky
British informal rum
North American informal bizarro
weird, eccentric, odd, peculiar, funny, bizarre, unusual, abnormal;
unconventional, idiosyncratic, outlandish, offbeat, freakish, quirky, quaint, zany, off-centre
informal wacky, way out, freaky, kooky, kinky, oddball, like nothing on earth, cranky
North American informal screwy, off the wall, wacko
Australian/New Zealand informal, dated dilly
1.1Slightly or undefinably unwell or ill at ease: her head still felt strange
More example sentences
  • I just thought of her that way whilst writing that and have come over all strange and nauseous.
  • My brain felt cloudy, and my stomach was doing a strange tingly thing that was making me feel quite nauseous.
  • His face was falling closer and closer to mine and I felt that strange, dizzy feeling again.
ill, unwell, poorly, indisposed, not (very) well, not oneself, out of sorts, not up to par, under/below par, peaky, liverish, sick, queasy, nauseous;
British  off, off colour
informal under the weather, not up to snuff, funny, peculiar, crummy, lousy, rough
British informal ropy, grotty
Scottish informal wabbit
Australian/New Zealand informal crook
vulgar slang crappy
dated queer, seedy
ill at ease, uneasy, edgy, uncomfortable, awkward, self-conscious, embarrassed;
out of place, like a fish out of water, disorientated
2Not previously visited, seen, or encountered; unfamiliar or alien: she was lost in a strange country a harsh accent that was strange to his ears
More example sentences
  • You can imagine an alien civilisation observing this strange scene and finding it fascinating or amusing.
  • This is by no means strange and alien terrain for the Bank of England.
  • Anyway, at the point I left the house there were no strange alien calls and it was still dark.
unfamiliar, unknown, new, alien, previously unencountered
2.1 (strange to/at/in) archaic Unaccustomed to or unfamiliar with: I am strange to the work
More example sentences
  • I smiled at him, feeling unfamiliar but not altogether strange in the compacted apartment.
  • The land itself is not actually cold and brutal, it's just because I am strange to the land.
  • I am strange to myself. I am here, as in a dream.
3 Physics (Of a subatomic particle) having a non-zero value for strangeness.
Example sentences
  • The lightest particles containing a strange quark cannot decay by the strong interaction, and must instead decay via the much slower weak interaction.
  • So with three strange quarks, the property which distinguishes them must be capable of at least three distinct values.


strange to say (or literary tell)

It is surprising or unusual that: strange to say, I didn’t really like carol singers
More example sentences
  • And suddenly, strange to tell, exactly enough money is saved to pass the budget.
  • Graham had need of a new backpack and, strange to tell, my legs gave out on me just then.
  • She said: ‘It may sound strange to say but I feel normal.’


Middle English: shortening of Old French estrange, from Latin extraneus 'external, strange'.

  • Strange is a shortening of Old French estrange, from Latin extraneus ‘external, strange’, also the source of stranger (Late Middle English).

Words that rhyme with strange

arrange, change, counterchange, estrange, exchange, grange, interchange, Lagrange, mange, part-exchange, range, short-change

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: strange

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