from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Inspiring inexplicable fear, dread, or uneasiness; strange and frightening.
  • adj. Suggestive of the supernatural; mysterious. See Synonyms at weird.
  • adj. Scots Frightened or intimidated by superstition.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. strange, weird, fear-inspiring.
  • adj. fearful, timid.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Serving to inspire fear, esp. a dread of seeing ghosts; wild; weird.
  • adj. Affected with fear; affrighted.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • See eery.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. suggestive of the supernatural; mysterious
  • adj. inspiring a feeling of fear; strange and frightening


Middle English eri, fearful, from Old English earg, cowardly.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English eri ("fearful"), from Old English earg ("cowardly, fearful"). Akin to Scots ergh, argh from the same Old English source. (Wiktionary)



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  • Along with llama one of the few words that if you drop either the first or the second letter results in a homonym. Many such as, say, wrack result in a homonym only in the instance of dropping the first letter--not the second.

    May 2, 2007