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uncanny

Syllabification: un·can·ny
Pronunciation: /ˌənˈkanē
 
/

Definition of uncanny in English:

adjective (uncannier, uncanniest)

Strange or mysterious, especially in an unsettling way: an uncanny feeling that she was being watched
More example sentences
  • Eriksson, charming, smooth and cerebral, has the uncanny ability to deflect most criticism.
  • Paul had this uncanny ability of making me want to hit him and laugh at the same time.
  • Some people seem to have an uncanny ability to grow personally regardless of their apparent setting.
Synonyms
eerie, unnatural, unearthly, preternatural, supernatural, otherworldly, ghostly, mysterious, strange, unsettling, abnormal, weird, bizarre, surreal, eldritch
striking, remarkable, extraordinary, exceptional, incredible, noteworthy, notable, arresting

Origin

late 16th century (originally Scots in the sense 'relating to the occult, malicious'): from un-1 'not' + canny.

More
  • The Scots originally used uncanny, just as they did its positive equivalent canny, ‘shrewd, cautious’, ‘clever’ or ‘nice, pleasant’. Uncanny has always had overtones of the occult, and originally implied ‘malignant or malicious’, but during the 19th century the word left Scotland to develop its usual modern meaning ‘mysterious, weird, strange’.

Derivatives

uncannily

1
Pronunciation: /-ˈkanəl-ē/
adverb
Example sentences
  • It looks uncannily like a black divers' wristwatch.
  • It's just that the live Friday programmes so far have uncannily coincided with a period of having a ‘quiet night in’ at the end of the week.
  • From Montreal, it is a production of an uncannily Beckettian 1890 play by the Belgian playwright Maurice Maeterlinck.

uncanniness

2
noun
Example sentences
  • Making Christ into ‘our contemporary’ in this way literally spirits away all of Christ's uncanniness, his queerness.
  • But sepia-toned photos loomed out of the dark: gothic, gallows humor, uncanniness, and the cruelty of the unconscious and of history.
  • The article concludes with a discussion of the uncanniness of this re-emergent form of commodity fetishism.

Definition of uncanny in:

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