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[uhn-urth-lee] /ʌnˈɜrθ li/
seeming not to belong to this earth or world:
unearthly beauty.
supernatural; ghostly; unnaturally strange; weird:
an unearthly scream.
out of the ordinary; unreasonable or absurd:
to get up at an unearthly hour.
Origin of unearthly
1605-15; un-1 + earthly
Related forms
unearthliness, noun
2. preternatural, spectral. See weird. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for unearthly
  • What is thrilling in this eerie episode is the staging of the nocturnal rallies, the jangle of the strange, unearthly sounds.
  • One of these fights features strange calisthenics and unearthly shrieks.
  • Those qualities have created an almost unearthly landscape that is as beautiful as it is desolate.
  • The waters appear to be almost unearthly blue due to the purity of the air and the water in the lake.
  • Though he never performed the kind of miracle needed to be officially canonised, his power was close to unearthly.
  • There glimmered the embroidered letter, with comfort in its unearthly ray.
  • Sunrise and sunset turned the sky to an unearthly flame of many colors above the vast water.
  • Since his theme is unearthly, the unearthly form becomes it.
  • But this isn't any ordinary gang fight, because these thugs have an unearthly taste for human flesh.
  • But the new unearthly perspective reduces the size of her earthlings.
British Dictionary definitions for unearthly


ghostly; eerie; weird: unearthly screams
heavenly; sublime: unearthly music
ridiculous or unreasonable (esp in the phrase unearthly hour)
Derived Forms
unearthliness, 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 unearthly

1610s, "heavenly, sublime," from un- (1) "not" + earthly. Sense of "ghostly, weird" first recorded 1802. Related: Unearthliness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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