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From Middle English selcouth, from Old English selcūþ, seldcūþ (unusual, unwonted, little known, unfamiliar, novel, rare), from seld- (rarely) + cūþ (known); equivalent to seld +‎ couth.


  • IPA(key): /sɛlˈkuːθ/
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selcouth (comparative more selcouth, superlative most selcouth)

  1. (now rare) Strange, unusual, rare; unfamiliar; marvellous, wondrous.
    • 1814, Walter Scott, Ivanhoe, Reprint edition, Penguin, published 2000, →ISBN, page 244:
      'A selcouth novelty,' muttered the knight, 'to advance to storm such a castle without pennon or banner displayed.'
    • 2002, Edward Cline, Sparrowhawk II: Hugh Kenrick[1] (Fiction), Digitized edition, MacAdam/Cage Pub., published 2011, →ISBN, page 318:
      The statements in either document are unique and selcouth.
    • 2007, Mark Youngblood Herring, “Caught in the Web”, in Fool's Gold: Why the Internet is no Substitute for a Library[2], McFarland, →ISBN, page 37:
      Left to its own devices and without the Web as a vehicle for misinforming others, the selcouth dogmas that forbade sexual relations ...