The Meaning of Eerie: What It Is and How To Use It

Do you know what the word eerie means? This article will provide you with all of the information you need on the word eerie, including its meaning, usage, synonyms, origin, and more!

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What does the word eerie mean?

According to Collins English Dictionary, Merriam-Webster and the American Heritage Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language, the word eerie is an adjective that describes something that is strange and frightening, that sends a chill down your spine. One can add the suffixes er and est to make eerier and eeriest. Eerie is two syllables – ee-rie, and the pronunciation of eerie is ˈɪəri.

Many things can be eerie, including an eerie feel from a superstitious fear, eerie midnight howl, eerie glow, eerie feeling of deja vu, an eerie stillness, an eerie landscape, eerie scream, an eerie homage, eerie traces of something, and eerie gray zone, eerie stories, eerie green fire or eerie green water, and eerie yellowish glow or an eerie red glow, and eerie young boy, or some other eerie quality.

According to Definitions, Eerie is also an American magazine of horror comics that was first published by Warren Publishing in 1966. They also released Mad Magazine. This was a black-and-white magazine intended for newsstand distribution, not pursuant to the comic book industry’s voluntary Comics Code Authority. It did not have the seal of the comics code authority and was in magazine format. The host character Cousin Eerie introduced the stories, and its sister publications were Creepy and Vampirella.

Many different languages also contain words that mean eerie (ˈɪərɪ). You may notice that some of these words look and sound similar to each other. These are called cognates, which are often formed when two words have the same root or language of origin like Latin or Greek. This list of translations of eerie is provided by Word Sense.

  •  Portuguese: estranho‎, assustador‎, esquisito‎
  •  Bulgarian: странен‎, внушаващ суеверен страх‎
  •  Czech: tajuplný‎, podivný‎ (masc.)
  •  Romanian: straniu‎, superstițios‎
  •  German: unheimlich‎
  •  Serbo-Croatian: stran‎, čudan‎
  •  Norwegian: skummel‎, nifs‎
  •  Finnish: outo‎
  •  French: étrange‎ (masc.) (f), sinistre‎
  •  Russian: стра́нный‎, жу́ткий‎, злове́щий‎, мра́чный‎, сверхъесте́ственный‎
  •  Mandarin: 怪異‎, 怪异‎ (guàiyì), 森森‎ (sēnsēn)
  •  Slovak: zvláštny‎, čudný‎, podozrivý‎
  •  Catalan: misteriós‎
  •  Irish: aerachtúil‎
  •  Japanese: 不気味‎
  •  Maori: whakahaehae‎
  •  Italian: misterioso‎ (masc.)
  •  Spanish: misterioso‎, extraño‎
  •  Turkish: ürkütücü‎, esrarengiz‎
  •  Dutch: vreemd‎
  •  Swedish: konstig‎ (common), skum‎, mystisk‎, kuslig‎

What are synonyms and antonyms of the word eerie?

There are many different words that one can use in place of the word eerie. These words are called synonyms. Synonyms are words that mean the same thing as a given word or phrase, and that can be used interchangeably. One might choose to use a synonym to expand their own vocabulary, to avoid repeating themselves, or to choose a word that makes the most sense for the context. The below list of synonyms for the word eerie is provided by Thesaurus.

  •  uncanny
  •  superstitious
  •  atypical
  •  crawly
  •  supernatural
  •  bizarre
  •  awesome
  •  mysterious
  •  unearthly
  •  spectral
  •  ghostly
  •  spooky
  •  fearful
  •  frightening
  •  creepy
  •  strange
  •  fantastic
  •  scary
  •  weird
  •  uneasiness

But what if someone wanted to use a word that meant the opposite of eerie? In this case, they would use an antonym, or opposite word. An antonym is a word or phrase that means the opposite of a given word or phrase. The below list of antonyms for eerie is also provided by Thesaurus

  •  normal
  •  standard
  •  natural
  •  orderly
  •  methodical
  •  common
  •  median
  •  typical
  •  ordinary
  •  customary
  •  regular
  •  typic
  •  traditional
  •  run-of-the-mill
  •  mean
  •  usual
  •  general
  •  popular
  •  unexceptional
  •  average
  •  accustomed
  •  commonplace
  •  prevalent
  •  routine
  •  acknowledged
  •  conventional
  •  habitual

What is the origin of the word eerie?

According to Etymonline, the word eerie (adj.) comes from the Middle English eri or eery (using suffix ry instead of rie), a c13 word. This is a north England and Scottish variant of the Old English earg, meaning cowardly or fearful. This comes from the Proto-Germanic arh which is also the source of the Old Frisian erg, Middle Dutch arch, Dutch arg, Scots ergh, Old High German arg, German ard, Old Norse argr evil, Finnish arka, and Swedish arg/argh. This Germanic loan-word is a Scottish variant of Old English earg. This word was first used to describe something that caused fear because of strangeness in the late c18. One can add the suffixes ly and ness to the end of eerie to create the related words eerily (adv.) and eeriness. 

How can the word eerie be used in a sentence?

The word eerie can be used in many different sentences in the English language. Below are several examples of eerie.

The absence of the activity at the school on the first day of school at Princeton University was absolutely eerie, and there was a single strand of hair taped to each locker. You could hear males sing at the end of the hall, and it made me want to run back home and back to my Maui vacation. The next day, it was like nothing ever happened.

The stroke and subsequent brain injuries left eerie sounds in Thompson’s head; they sounded almost like a whale song. He made an appointment at a larger hospital for better treatments.

The Taurus mountains in the foothills of Turkey were absolutely eerie. I thought about the groundbreaking work it took to get to the top and those who had died along the way, and a chill rushed down my spine. There was a dark grayish smoke at the top, and scenes of war flashed in my mind.

Overall, the word eerie (ˈɪri) means a feeling of fear, esp of places. This word comes from an Old English source, from the  Northern English and Scot dialects.


  1. eerie | Origin and meaning of eerie | Online Etymology Dictionary 
  2. eerie: meaning, origin, translation | Word Sense 
  3. What does eerie mean? | Definitions 
  4. EERIE Synonyms: 28 Synonyms & Antonyms for EERIE | Thesaurus 
  5. NORMAL Synonyms: 72 Synonyms & Antonyms for NORMAL | Thesaurus 
  6. Eerie definition and meaning | Collins English Dictionary