If you don’t know anything about a person or a thing, or if something is unfamiliar to you, it might seem strange. We also use the word "strange" for things that are scary or cause concern.

a strange object

  • This is a strange object. What is it?
  • There’s a strange smell coming from the engine.
  • This meat has a strange taste. Is it okay?
  • Maria had a very strange day today.
  • Edgar saw something very strange while riding on the subway.
  • There’s a strange guy in Hector’s class. He doesn’t say very much, and he smells really bad.
  • The sky looks very strange. Is a storm coming?
  • My stomach feels strange. I think I might be sick.

The word "strangely" is an adverb. Use it to modify a verb:

  • He’s acting strangely. (The adverb "strangely" modifies the verb.)
  • The host of the party was acting strangely towards her guests.
  • My car is behaving strangely.

The word "stranger" is a noun. Use this word for a person:

  • A stranger in our neighborhood was looking through the trash.
  • Parents always tell their kids to be careful around strangers.
  • After the divorce, David now feels like a stranger when he goes to his old house to visit his kids.

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This page was first published on September 12, 2012. It was updated on August 27. 2015.