adjective, ee·ri·er, ee·ri·est.

  1. uncanny, so as to inspire superstitious fear; weird: an eerie midnight howl.
  2. Chiefly Scot. affected with superstitious fear.

adjective eerier or eeriest

  1. (esp of places, an atmosphere, etc) mysteriously or uncannily frightening or disturbing; weird; ghostly

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.

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