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From un- +‎ earthly.


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ʌnˈəːθ.li/
  • (US) IPA(key): /ʌnˈɝθ.li/
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unearthly (comparative unearthlier, superlative unearthliest)

  1. Not of the earth; non-terrestrial.
    • 2012, Charles Lockwood, Tragedy at Honda, page 65
      In the hard glare of the Searchlight, which had been manned by Seaman 2nd class Evans W. Watkins, the rock had the unearthly look of a miniature satellite in space.
  2. Preternatural or supernatural.
    • 2011, Steven Saylor, Roma: The Epic Novel of Ancient Rome
      As a fourth finger snapped, Cacus gave an unearthly scream and relented.
  3. Strange, enigmatic, or mysterious.
    • 1819 [publ. Sep 1858], James Morton, "The Poetical Remains of the late Dr. John Leyden, with Memoirs of his Life", The Calcutta Review, volume 31, page 25
      I then set out to survey the town in the self-same palankeen. The houses had all of them an unearthly appearance, by no means consonant to our ideas of Oriental splendor.
  4. Ideal beyond the mundane.
    • 2000, Aileen Ribeiro, The Gallery of Fashion, page 42
      By the late sixteenth century Elizabeth had become the icon-like Virgin Queen of legend, an image created, to a large extent, by her extraordinary, unearthly costume and appearance.
  5. Ridiculous, ludicrous, or outrageous.
    • 1927, The Walther League Messenger, volume 36, page 225
      I see my boys all wearing the same unearthly trousers, the same hair cuts, garish ties and sweaters, all rolling their socks and entertaining the same crazy notions about everything.