9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[uhn-kan-ee] /ʌnˈkæn i/
having or seeming to have a supernatural or inexplicable basis; beyond the ordinary or normal; extraordinary:
uncanny accuracy; an uncanny knack of foreseeing trouble.
mysterious; arousing superstitious fear or dread; uncomfortably strange:
Uncanny sounds filled the house.
Origin of uncanny
1590-1600; un-1 + canny
Related forms
uncannily, adverb
uncanniness, noun
2. preternatural, odd. See weird.
2. ordinary, natural. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for uncannily
  • His judgment proved uncannily accurate: by the end of his career the hits far outweighed the misses.
  • Sometimes the artists uncannily reflect the history and culture of their place.
  • When they met, they discovered that they cooked uncannily well as a team and became best buddies.
  • Well naturally, but the specifics are uncannily interesting.
  • For centuries, mathematicians have been uncannily accurate in predicting the physical world.
  • While the food may be homely, its presentation is uncannily neat.
  • The machine code of the genes is uncannily computerlike.
  • The science is uncannily true, with rare exceptions.
  • Praise tends to focus on his uncannily authentic-sounding dialogue, which manages to bring even marginal characters to life.
  • The phrase refers to modern species that are uncannily similar to extinct ones.
British Dictionary definitions for uncannily


characterized by apparently supernatural wonder, horror, etc
beyond what is normal or expected: an uncanny accuracy
Derived Forms
uncannily, adverb
uncanniness, noun
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 uncannily



1590s, "mischievous;" 1773 in the sense of "associated with the supernatural," originally Scottish and northern English, from un- (1) "not" + canny.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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