Definition of uncanny in English:



  • Strange or mysterious, especially in an unsettling way.

    ‘an uncanny feeling that she was being watched’
    • ‘Right now, if he has, I have an uncanny understanding of why he kisses the ground.’
    • ‘The series demonstrated once again that Ferguson has an uncanny knack for turning controversy into lucre.’
    • ‘Eriksson, charming, smooth and cerebral, has the uncanny ability to deflect most criticism.’
    • ‘One of his more uncanny talents has been the ability to capture the zeitgeist before we even knew it was upon us.’
    • ‘I've seen this person around quite a lot, and seeing them recently, and then the show, was just uncanny!’
    • ‘But long-running rumours are developing an uncanny knack of coming true at the moment.’
    • ‘That impresses me but not as much as his uncanny expertise on the topic of game and quiz shows.’
    • ‘Yet his tongue-in-cheek whimsy has an uncanny knack of transporting you back to the event itself.’
    • ‘Burns' ability to describe managerial styles is uncanny to the modern eye.’
    • ‘They had uncanny ability to know where each other was on the football ground at any time of the match.’
    • ‘He hated how his uncle crept up silently on him; it was both eerie and uncanny.’
    • ‘Some people seem to have an uncanny ability to grow personally regardless of their apparent setting.’
    • ‘Humankind possesses this uncanny ability to survive in the face of adversity!’
    • ‘Paul had this uncanny ability of making me want to hit him and laugh at the same time.’
    • ‘I do rely on him because his technical expertise is superb and his ability to predict the future has been uncanny.’
    • ‘However, I have noticed an uncanny ability to give good luck to those who are gambling.’
    • ‘She had the uncanny ability to turn things around in a flash - as if she was flipping over an egg timer.’
    • ‘Google's success stems from its uncanny ability to sort useful web pages from dross.’
    • ‘It is an uncanny phenomenon; the culture we placed our faith in is hounding our freedoms.’
    • ‘Davis never failed to draw irony from his uncanny ability to find the right things at the right time.’
    eerie, unnatural, preternatural, supernatural, unearthly, other-worldly, unreal, ghostly, mysterious, strange, abnormal, odd, curious, queer, weird, bizarre, freakish
    striking, remarkable, extraordinary, out of the ordinary, out of the way, unusual, exceptional, astounding, astonishing, incredible, conspicuous, noteworthy, notable, considerable, distinctive, arresting
    View synonyms


Late 16th century (originally Scots in the sense ‘relating to the occult, malicious’): from un- ‘not’+ canny.