Their acts all had the weird inconsequence of the people we see in dreams.

What a strange, weird mystery there is about mental associations!

It is plain from this weird appeal that Shakespeare had already made his mark.

Before she had laughed at the weird complaining; now it sounded like a moan of misery.

We told tales as weird as the scene, until far into the night.

Why she's Cleopatra is as weird a history as why I'm Mrs. Jones.

They were winding up now, in the weird moonlight, for the hour was approaching.

In the weird light I could see the faces of the men work with emotion.

Weird places some of them, too—gives me the creeps to think of them sometimes!

It was only another one of his gestures which was responsible for these weird dreams.


Old English wyrd (n.) "fate, destiny," literally "that which comes," from Proto-Germanic *wurthis (cf. Old Saxon wurd, Old High German wurt "fate," Old Norse urðr "fate, one of the three Norns"), from PIE *wert- "to turn, wind," (cf. German werden, Old English weorðan "to become"), from root *wer- (3) "to turn, bend" (see versus). For sense development from "turning" to "becoming," cf. phrase turn into "become."

The modern sense of weird developed from Middle English use of weird sisters for the three fates or Norns (in Germanic mythology), the goddesses who controlled human destiny. They were portrayed as odd or frightening in appearance, as in "Macbeth," which led to the adjectival meaning "odd-looking, uncanny," first recorded 1815.


Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.