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See also: Strange, strânge, and Stränge



From Middle English straunge, strange, stronge, from Old French estrange, from Latin extraneus (that which is on the outside). Doublet of extraneous. Displaced native Middle English fremde, fremede, frempt (strange) (from Old English fremede, fremde). Cognate with French étrange (strange, foreign) and Spanish extranjero (foreign).


  • enPR: strānj, IPA(key): /ˈstɹeɪnd͡ʒ/
  • (file)
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  • Rhymes: -eɪndʒ


strange (comparative stranger, superlative strangest)

  1. Not normal; odd, unusual, surprising, out of the ordinary.
    He thought it strange that his girlfriend wore shorts in the winter.
    • c. 1598, William Shakespeare, Much Ado about Nothing, Act IV, Scene 1,[1]
      I do love nothing in the world so well as you: is not that strange?
    • 1674, John Milton, Paradise Lost, Book 9, lines 598-601,[2]
      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.
  2. Unfamiliar, not yet part of one's experience.
    I moved to a strange town when I was ten.
    • c. 1604, William Shakespeare, Measure for Measure, Act IV, Scene 2,[3]
      [] 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.
  3. (physics) Having the quantum mechanical property of strangeness.
    • 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.
  4. (mathematics) Of an attractor: having a fractal structure.
  5. (obsolete) Belonging to another country; foreign.
    • 1570, Roger Ascham, The Scholemaster, London, Book 1,[4]
      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. 1594, William Shakespeare, Love’s Labour’s Lost, Act IV, Scene 2,[5]
      [] one of the strange queen’s lords.
    • 1611, King James Version of the Bible, Psalm 137:4,[6]
      How shall we sing the Lord’s song in a strange land?
    • 1662, Samuel Pepys, Diary entry dated 27 November, 1662, in Henry B. Wheatley (editor), The Diary of Samuel Pepys, New York: Croscup & Sterling, 1893, Volume 2, Part 2, p. 377,[7]
      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.
  6. (obsolete) Reserved; distant in deportment.
  7. (obsolete) Backward; slow.
    • 1621, Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher, Thierry and Theodoret, London: Thomas Walkley, Act III, Scene 1,[10]
      [] 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.
  8. (obsolete) Not familiar; unaccustomed; inexperienced.
  9. (law) Not belonging to one.



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strange (third-person singular simple present stranges, present participle stranging, simple past and past participle stranged)

  1. (obsolete, transitive) To alienate; to estrange.
  2. (obsolete, intransitive) To be estranged or alienated.
  3. (obsolete, intransitive) To wonder; to be astonished (at something).
    • 1661, Joseph Glanvill, The Vanity of Dogmatizing, London: Henry Eversden, Chapter 19, p. 184,[12]
      [these] 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]:

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strange (uncountable)

  1. (slang, uncountable) vagina
    • 2013 "Taming Strange" (episode of South Park TV series)
      Ike: Yeah, for my cool cool trick I'm gonna tame Foofa's strange.
      Plex: Tame mo-what?
      Ike: I can tame Foofa's strange, bro.





  1. strangely

Middle English[edit]



  1. Alternative form of straunge

Old English[edit]


  • IPA(key): /ˈstrɑnɡe/, [ˈstrɑŋɡe]



  1. Inflected form of strang