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From Middle English straunge, strange, stronge, from Old French estrange, from Latin extrāneus (“that which is on the outside”). Doublet of extraneous and estrange. Cognate with French étrange (“strange, foreign”) and Spanish extraño (“strange, foreign”). Displaced native Middle English selcouth and uncouth, from Old English seldcūþ and uncūþ.
strange (comparative stranger, superlative strangest)
- Not normal; odd, unusual, surprising, out of the ordinary.
- Synonyms: see Thesaurus:strange
- Antonyms: everyday, normal, (especially US) regular, standard, usual
- He thought it strange that his girlfriend wore shorts in the winter.
- 1598–1599 (first performance), William Shakespeare, “Much Adoe about Nothing”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies […] (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act IV, scene i]:
- I do love nothing in the world so well as you: is not that strange?
- 1667, John Milton, “Book IX”, in Paradise Lost. […], London: […] [Samuel Simmons], […], →OCLC; republished as Paradise Lost in Ten Books: […], London: Basil Montagu Pickering […], 1873, →OCLC, lines 598-601:
- Sated at length, ere long I might perceave / Strange alteration in me, to degree / Of Reason in my inward Powers, and Speech / Wanted not long, though to this shape retain’d.
- 1967, Robby Krieger; Jim Morrison (lyrics and music), “People Are Strange”, performed by The Doors:
- When you're strange / Faces come out of the rain / When you're strange / No one remembers your name
- Unfamiliar, not yet part of one's experience.
- Synonyms: new, unfamiliar, unknown
- Antonyms: familiar, known
- I moved to a strange town when I was ten.
- c. 1603–1604 (date written), William Shakespeare, “Measure for Measure”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies […] (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act IV, scene ii]:
- […] here is the hand and seal of the duke: you know the character, I doubt not; and the signet is not strange to you.
- 1934, Agatha Christie, chapter 4, in Murder on the Orient Express, London: HarperCollins, published 2017, page 105:
- 'I'm sure I should have never mentioned anything of the kind to three strange gentlemen if you hadn't dragged it out of me.'
- 1955, Rex Stout, "The Next Witness", in Three Witnesses, October 1994 Bantam edition, →ISBN, pages 48–49:
- She's probably sitting there hoping a couple of strange detectives will drop in.
- (slang, of sex, genitals, etc) Outside of one's current relationship; unfamiliar.
- 2006, Black Butch Malone, Streetwise: N.Y. YO, AuthorHouse, →ISBN, page 47:
- When AIDS and Herpes hit the street Talib stopped fucking with strange pussy and stray pussy. Bitches had a ways to go to match Malikah in bed anyway. With her there was that extra element of real love that heightened sex […]
- 2009, David Karcher, Winter Kill, Xlibris Corporation, →ISBN, page 239:
- Arnett might have come to Boston to eat baked beans, get some strange ass, or stick up the First New England Trust, the motive mattered little to him—whatever the boss wanted to do was jake-okay by him. Besides, being on overtime for ...
- 2014, Mary Monroe, Lost Daughters, Kensington Books, →ISBN:
- "You just need some strange dick, that's all.” Maureen rolled her eyes and gave her friend an exasperated look. “I'm a married woman, Catty.” “Uh-huh! I knew somethin' like this was goin' to happen after you married Mel."
- 2021, Ellis O. Day, The Billionaire's Baby, LSODea, →ISBN:
- The future mother of his child was not going out and getting laid by some strange dick. He'd tie her to his bed before he let that happen.
- (particle physics) Having the quantum mechanical property of strangeness.
- Hypernym: flavor
- 2004, Frank Close, Particle Physics: A Very Short Introduction, Oxford, page 93:
- A strange quark is electrically charged, carrying an amount -1/3, as does the down quark.
- (mathematics) Of an attractor: having a fractal structure.
- (obsolete) Belonging to another country; foreign.
- a. 1569 (date written), Roger Ascham, Margaret Ascham, editor, The Scholemaster: Or Plaine and Perfite Way of Teaching Children, to Vnderstand, Write, and Speake, the Latin Tong, […], London: […] John Daye, […], published 1570, →OCLC:
- I take goyng thither [to Italy], and liuing there, for a yonge ientleman, that doth not goe vnder the kepe and garde of such a man, as both, by wisedome can, and authoritie dare rewle him, to be meruelous dangerous […] not bicause I do contemne, either the knowledge of strange and diuerse tonges, and namelie the Italian tonge […] or else bicause I do despise, the learning that is gotten […]
- c. 1595–1596 (date written), William Shakespeare, “Loues Labour’s Lost”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies […] (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act IV, scene ii]:
- […] one of the strange queen’s lords.
- 1611, The Holy Bible, […] (King James Version), London: […] Robert Barker, […], →OCLC, Psalms 137:4:
- How shall we sing the Lords song: in a strange land?
- 1662 December 7 (date written; Gregorian calendar), Samuel Pepys; Mynors Bright, transcriber, “November 27th, 1662”, in Henry B[enjamin] Wheatley, editor, The Diary of Samuel Pepys […], volume II, London: George Bell & Sons […]; Cambridge: Deighton Bell & Co., published 1893, →OCLC, page 377:
- I could not see the [Russian] Embassador in his coach; but his attendants in their habits and fur caps very handsome, comely men […] But Lord! to see the absurd nature of Englishmen, that cannot forbear laughing and jeering at every thing that looks strange.
- (obsolete) Reserved; distant in deportment.
- c. 1596–1598 (date written), William Shakespeare, “The Merchant of Venice”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies […] (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act I, scene i]:
- Good signiors both, when shall we laugh? say, when? / You grow exceeding strange: must it be so?
- 1850, Nathaniel Hawthorne, chapter 19, in The Scarlet Letter, a Romance, Boston, Mass.: Ticknor, Reed, and Fields, →OCLC, page 253:
- She may be strange and shy at first, but will soon learn to love thee!
- (obsolete) Backward; slow.
- c. 1607–1621, [Francis Beaumont; John Fletcher; Philip Massinger], The Tragedy of Thierry King of France, and His Brother Theodoret. […], London: […] [Nicholas Okes] for Thomas Walkley, […], published 1621, →OCLC, Act III, scene i:
- […] to his name your barrennesse adds rule; / Who louing the effect, would not be strange / In fauoring the cause; looke on the profit, / And gaine will quickly point the mischiefe out.
- (obsolete) Not familiar; unaccustomed; inexperienced.
- c. 1605–1608, William Shakespeare, “The Life of Tymon of Athens”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies […] (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act IV, scene iii]:
- I know thee well; / But in thy fortunes am unlearn’d and strange.
- (law) Not belonging to one.
not yet part of one’s experience
in quantum mechanics
belonging to another country, foreign
strange (third-person singular simple present stranges, present participle stranging, simple past and past participle stranged)
- (obsolete, transitive) To alienate; to estrange.
- (obsolete, intransitive) To be estranged or alienated.
- (obsolete, intransitive) To wonder; to be astonished at (something).
- 1661, Joseph Glanvill, chapter XIX, in The Vanity of Dogmatizing: Or Confidence in Opinions. […], London: […] E. C. for Henry Eversden […], →OCLC; reprinted in The Vanity of Dogmatizing […] (Series III: Philosophy; 6), New York, N.Y.: For the Facsimile Text Society by Columbia University Press, 1931, →OCLC, page 184:
- [I]f the world and motion were not from Eternity, then God was Idle; were all the Aſſertions of Ariſtotle, which Theology pronounceth impieties. Which yet we need not ſtrange at from one, of whom a Father ſaith, Nec Deum coluit nec curavit [he neither worshipped nor cared for God]: […]
- (slang, uncountable) Sex outside of one's current relationship.
- 2017, J.D. Kleinke, Dudeville:
- All he has to do is walk into a bar, and he can get some Strange.'” “Oh yeah, Tom,” I mutter, “that's exactly how it was, every Saturday night. Nothing but Strange. Up here too.”
- Alternative form of straunge
- Inflected form of strang
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