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eerie

[eer-ee] /ˈɪər i/
adjective, eerier, eeriest.
1.
uncanny, so as to inspire superstitious fear; weird:
an eerie midnight howl.
2.
Chiefly Scot. affected with superstitious fear.
Also, eery.
Origin
1250-1300
1250-1300; Middle English eri, dialectal variant of argh, Old English earg cowardly; cognate with Old Frisian erg, Old Norse argr evil, German arg cowardly
Related forms
eerily, adverb
eeriness, noun
Can be confused
aerie, eerie, Erie.
Synonyms
1. See weird.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for eeriness

eerie

/ˈɪərɪ/
adjective eerier, eeriest
1.
(esp of places, an atmosphere, etc) mysteriously or uncannily frightening or disturbing; weird; ghostly
Derived Forms
eerily, adverb
eeriness, noun
Word Origin
C13: originally Scottish and Northern English, probably from Old English earg cowardly, miserable
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for eeriness

eerie

adj.

c.1300, "fearful, timid," north England and Scottish variant of Old English earg "cowardly, fearful," from Proto-Germanic *argaz (cf. Old Frisian erg "evil, bad," Middle Dutch arch "bad," Dutch arg, Old High German arg "cowardly, worthless," German arg "bad, wicked," Old Norse argr "unmanly, voluptuous," Swedish arg "malicious").

Sense of "causing fear because of strangeness" is first attested 1792. Related: Eerily. Finnish arka "cowardly" is a Germanic loan-word.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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