strange


strange
strange, *singular, unique, peculiar, eccentric, erratic, odd, queer, quaint, outlandish, curious can mean varying from what is ordinary, usual, and to be expected.
Strange, the most comprehensive of these terms, suggests unfamiliarity; it may apply to what is foreign, unnatural, inexplicable, or new
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some strange and potent élan was released in Cabot shortly after the second treatment .... He bloomed, as so few men do— Purdy

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to most of us the art of China and Japan, however much it may attract and impress, is strangeBinyon

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the people in the streets have their usual air, tranquil and indolent. No curiosity, no emotion in their faces. A strange people!— Edmund Wilson

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Singular distinctively implies difference from every other instance of its kind and therefore stresses individuality
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a distinguished and singular excellence— Mencken

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the taxi driver had lugged the parcel ... for the woman, and then—proving himself a singular example of his species—had broken a ten- dollar bill for her— Kahn

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Often, however, the word suggests strangeness that puzzles one or piques one's curiosity
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I experienced a singular sensation on reading the first sentence .... There are sensations you cannot describe— F. M. Ford

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'tis singular that even within the sight of the high towers of Antioch you could lose your way— Shelley

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Unique implies not only singularity but the fact of being unparalleled without suggesting, as singular does, a strange or baffling character or quality
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personality always contains something uniqueJustice Holmes

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he has the almost unique distinction of having made speeches which were both effective when delivered and also models of literary eloquence— Inge

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the majestic, the enduring novels treat of subjects which are rarely uniqueElizabeth Bowen

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Peculiar (see also CHARACTERISTIC) implies marked or conspicuous distinctiveness in character or quality
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this difference arises . . . from the peculiar character of the Government of the United States— Taney

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the peculiar etiquette attached to elevators was rigidly observed by members of both households— Bemelmans

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only subtle and delicate minds . . . catch the characteristic aroma, the peculiar perfume— Brownell

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Often peculiar is employed where one of the succeeding terms (as eccentric or queer) might well be used
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he is growing very peculiar

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made little effort to remember the day; with its peculiar quality of dementia it seemed not a commonplace and civilized social event but a nightmare— Styron

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Eccentric implies divergence from the beaten track; erratic adds to eccentric a stronger implication of caprice and unpredictability
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an eccentric preference for beginning his dinner . . . in the late afternoon— Cather

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the house had grown, reflecting the stubborn and eccentric turns of Justina's mind— Cheever

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the workings of his mind were erratic

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this towering but erratic genius . . . who combined in his tempestuous character so many of the best and the worst qualities of the German— Shirer

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Odd stresses a departure from the usual, the normal, or the regular; it sometimes suggests an element of the fantastic; queer even more strongly implies eccentricity and often suggests that the thing so qualified is dubious or questionable
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great men whose odd habits it would have been glorious piety to endure— George Eliot

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the oddest sense of being herself invisible; unseen; unknown— Woolf

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Alice was not much surprised at this, she was getting so well used to queer things happening— Lewis Carroll

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completely out of control . . . her voice had become louder and her smile queererWouk

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Quaint implies pleasant or especially old-fashioned oddness; outlandish, uncouth or bizarre oddness
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a quaint village, full of half- timbered houses

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to post-Freudian ears, this kind of language seems touchingly quaint and ingenuous— Huxley

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an outlandish custom

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he wore the prophet's robe with a difference. He never let it look outlandishMontague

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he introduced outlandish or unbelievable people and situations into his work; that is, . . . fantasy was not a mode of escape but a device of satire— Fitzell

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Curious usually implies extraordinary oddness or a singularity that invites close attention, study, or inquiry. When the word is employed as an equivalent of one or another of the foregoing words it tends to retain to a greater or less degree the notion of extraordinariness and often suggests that the thing so described merits notice or investigation
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a curious sickening smell

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1curious bits of folklore

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curious customs and habits of speech surviving from an earlier age

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my only guiding principle has been that the examples should be curious, striking and even, in certain cases, extravagant— Huxley

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a curious sensation, sitting only a yard away from this man who fifty years before had made me so miserable that I had once contemplated suicide— Dahl

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loneliness, far from being a rare and curious circumstance— Wolfe

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Analogous words: *abnormal, atypical, aberrant: *fantastic, bizarre, grotesque: surprising, astonishing, amazing, flabber-gasting (see SURPRISE)
Antonyms: familiar

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

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  • Strange — Strange, a. [Compar. {Stranger}; superl. {Strangest}.] [OE. estrange, F. [ e]trange, fr. L. extraneus that is without, external, foreign, fr. extra on the outside. See {Extra}, and cf. {Estrange}, {Extraneous}.] 1. Belonging to another country;… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Strange — may refer to:* Strange (surname), a family name * Strange, Ontario, Canada * Strange (TV series), a British programme * Strange quark, an elementary particleIn comics: * Strange (comic), a comic book limited series by Marvel Comics * Strange… …   Wikipedia

  • strange´ly — strange «straynj», adjective, strang|er, strang|est, adverb. –adj. 1. unusual; odd; queer; peculiar: »a strange accident. What a str …   Useful english dictionary

  • Strange — bezeichnet einen Quark Flavour, Quark (Physik)#Strange Quark Strange ist der Familienname folgender Personen: Alf Strange (1900–1978), englischer Fußballspieler Allen Strange (1943–2008), US amerikanischer Komponist, Musiktheoretiker und Musiker… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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  • strange — [strānj] adj. stranger, strangest [ME < OFr estrange < L extraneus, EXTRANEOUS] 1. of another place or locality; foreign; alien 2. not previously known, seen, heard, or experienced; unfamiliar 3. quite unusual or uncommon; extraordinary 4.… …   English World dictionary

  • Strange — Strange, adv. Strangely. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] Most strange, but yet most truly, will I speak. Shak. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • strange — strange·ly; strange; strange·ness; …   English syllables

  • strange — ► ADJECTIVE 1) unusual or surprising. 2) not previously visited, seen, or encountered. 3) (strange to/at/in) archaic unaccustomed to or unfamiliar with. 4) Physics denoting one of the six flavours of quark. DERIVATIVES strangely adverb …   English terms dictionary