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[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 uncanny
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I feel that this ranch is uncanny, and things are not as they should be.

    Mason of Bar X Ranch Henry Bennett
  • It was curious, uncanny, and the hair on the back of his neck lifted a little.

    The Eyes of the Woods Joseph A. Altsheler
  • She did not sleep well and had uncanny dreams, but she came down to breakfast with an expression of triumph.

    The Golden Road Lucy Maud Montgomery
  • The swiftness with which seeds grow when properly watered is uncanny.

    In Mesopotamia Martin Swayne
  • Robert was restive under her uncanny questionings, but answered that he wasn't quite sure about the future.

    The Brightener C. N. Williamson
British Dictionary definitions for uncanny


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 uncanny

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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