Definition of strange in English:



  • 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’
    • ‘He is always accusing me of having strange ideas about what word should be stressed.’
    • ‘It is strange how even when it all comes to an end you never stop loving those people.’
    • ‘She had to find out what it was, and she had the strange idea that he would help her.’
    • ‘But these guys hear voices and have strange ideas that they can't explain themselves.’
    • ‘The stage has been strange somehow, difficult as regards concentration and with a lot of dust.’
    • ‘At the same time, it goes far to explain why we engage in these strange games with them.’
    • ‘It was strange, it was unusual and to be honest, it was a little bit frightening.’
    • ‘One company was so surprised at the strange story, they rang The Times to check it was not a hoax.’
    • ‘It is all a little unusual and strange because there is a more practical aspect of its relevance.’
    • ‘It is strange how educationalists so often look at things from the wrong angle.’
    • ‘It is strange how ideas such as these last almost as long as brick and mortar buildings.’
    • ‘The twins were very young, and they wanted their grandmother to explain this strange wind.’
    • ‘I decided to persevere with my list of questions, provoking a strange response.’
    • ‘It is strange how such concealment goes hand in hand with record-breaking council tax rises.’
    • ‘I found that explanation very strange and I don't understand why I was sent there.’
    • ‘At that time, the three of them could not explain how this strange feeling came about.’
    • ‘A few days ago, a cop had come to our door to explain the strange incident with Nick's dad.’
    • ‘The effects of this strange publicity campaign were not difficult to miss.’
    • ‘It was strange how the country air smelled so different from the city air.’
    • ‘I did not think there was anything strange, unusual or threatening in what he said.’
    weird, eccentric, odd, peculiar, funny, bizarre, unusual, abnormal
    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
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    1. 1.1Slightly or undefinably unwell or ill at ease.
      ‘her head still felt strange’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘As she sits up, a strange sensation begins to develop inside of her.’
      • ‘I cannot bear to hear certain words and hearing them earlier made me feel strange and now i feel disconnected and bewildered.’
      • ‘Fire seemed to surge through my right arm, creating a strange numb sensation.’
      • ‘Joey felt a strange tingling sensation in her stomach, but quickly dismissed it.’
      • ‘I have seen plenty of posts on here from people who feel strange and not with it.’
      • ‘His face was falling closer and closer to mine and I felt that strange, dizzy feeling again.’
      ill at ease, uneasy, edgy, uncomfortable, awkward, self-conscious, embarrassed
      ill, unwell, poorly, indisposed, not well, not very well, not oneself, out of sorts, not up to par, below par, under par, peaky, liverish, sick, queasy, nauseous
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  • 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’
    • ‘She heard the call of some unknown, strange bird in the boughs as she was led into the jungle.’
    • ‘To be honest, the dishes sounded so strange and unfamiliar that I was stumped as to what to order.’
    • ‘You can imagine an alien civilisation observing this strange scene and finding it fascinating or amusing.’
    • ‘Acceptance of the strange and unfamiliar is not a leap that depends on logic alone.’
    • ‘Granted, some of the strange new places to be visited were not glamorous, precisely.’
    • ‘Cambodian music may sound somewhat strange at first to those who are unfamiliar with Asian music.’
    • ‘Two evenings this week, I have encountered strange weather whilst driving home from work.’
    • ‘Anyway, at the point I left the house there were no strange alien calls and it was still dark.’
    • ‘This is by no means strange and alien terrain for the Bank of England.’
    • ‘He looked at it as though it were some strange alien object that he had never seen before.’
    • ‘For such speakers, Latin had always been a strange, alien, and bookish tongue.’
    • ‘I opened up the jiffy bag and inside were four pink hard back tomes with some strange alien language on the cover.’
    • ‘When a member of the household is sick our lives are rendered strange and detached from the world about us.’
    • ‘They converse in strange tongues, using words and expressions that are totally alien to me.’
    • ‘This can be explained by the fact that Europeans found Africans to be alien and strange.’
    • ‘I value it, and it is special, deeply special, and strange and unfamiliar, and very precious.’
    • ‘Indeed, whenever he visited a strange town his first port of call was always the local cemetery.’
    • ‘For many bank customers, digital banking is no longer a strange or unfamiliar term.’
    • ‘For these humans the picture only represents a strange object, nature and function unknown.’
    unfamiliar, unknown, new, alien, previously unencountered
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    1. 2.1archaic Unaccustomed to or unfamiliar with.
      ‘I am strange to the work’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I smiled at him, feeling unfamiliar but not altogether strange in the compacted apartment.’
      unaccustomed to, unfamiliar with, unused to, unacquainted with, new to, fresh to, inexperienced in, unpractised in, unversed in, unconversant with
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  • 3Physics
    (of a subatomic particle) having a non-zero value for strangeness.

    • ‘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 literarytell)

    • It is surprising or unusual that.

      ‘strange to say, I didn't really like carol singers’
      • ‘But, strange to say, this dominance is inevitable.’
      • ‘It may sound strange to say now, but these things did bother me.’
      • ‘It's strange to say that a president doesn't get enough attention - that his speeches and arguments are ignored.’
      • ‘But there is one notable absence from the list and - strange to say - that is the schoolchildren.’
      • ‘He came softly, unobserved, and yet, strange to say, everyone recognised Him.’
      • ‘She said: ‘It may sound strange to say but I feel normal.’’
      • ‘And suddenly, strange to tell, exactly enough money is saved to pass the budget.’
      • ‘It seems strange to say now that I felt so lonely, yet I did.’
      • ‘Incidentally, the elements, strange to say, also supported the winners in the final period as the direction of the wind changed on the restart when skies darkened in the build-up to a hail shower.’
      • ‘Graham had need of a new backpack and, strange to tell, my legs gave out on me just then.’


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