Definition of eldritch in US English:



  • Weird and sinister or ghostly.

    ‘an eldritch screech’
    • ‘This random disconnection wouldn't have been too much of a problem had not the ISP used a strange and eldritch log on procedure involving the entry of username and password twice.’
    • ‘I need something particularly eldritch, hideous and nameless here.’
    • ‘It pulsed under a huge summer moon that cast eldritch light more revealing than sunbeams, though still far kinder.’
    • ‘The name suggests something eldritch is in the offing.’
    • ‘They were part of a promotional kit for the film and irresistible to a collector of the eldritch and the outré.’
    • ‘The whites beneath her lowered eyes showed as she said this, and for an instant Anest felt as though he spoke, not to his wife, but to a perfect stranger, the purely eldritch creature she had once been.’
    • ‘And then she joined hands with the other witch, and eldritch force sizzled through them like a river of blue lightning, and my plans changed on the spot.’
    • ‘There was a piercing, petrifying, eldritch screech.’
    • ‘And then, for the first time since she had first appeared in Belloc's garden, she began to sing, in a quiet, penetrating, wordless, altogether eldritch voice.’
    • ‘That is still the case, although there is one demure young lass whose eldritch scream would be enough to frighten even the toughest banshee.’
    ghostlike, spectral, phantom, wraithlike, phantasmal, phantasmic, unearthly, unnatural, supernatural, other-worldly, insubstantial, illusory, unreal, shadowy, eerie, weird, uncanny, mysterious, magical, mystic, strange, abnormal, freakish
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Early 16th century (originally Scots): perhaps related to elf.