AskDefine | Define uncanny

Dictionary Definition

uncanny adj
1 suggesting the operation of supernatural influences; "an eldritch screech"; "the three weird sisters"; "stumps...had uncanny shapes as of monstrous creatures"- John Galsworthy; "an unearthly light"; "he could hear the unearthly scream of some curlew piercing the din"- Henry Kingsley [syn: eldritch, weird, unearthly]
2 beyond what is natural; "his uncanny sense of direction"; (`unco' is chiefly Scottish) [syn: unco]

User Contributed Dictionary




  1. strange, and mysteriously unsettling (as if supernatural); weird
    He bore an uncanny resemblance to the dead sailor.
  2. The Uncanny is a Freudian concept of an instance where something can be familiar, yet foreign at the same time, often being uncomfortably strange Freud describes the uncanny in his work as analogous to the German Unheimliche or unhomely. The uncanny is "something that was long familiar to the psyche and was estranged from it only through being repressed. The link with repression now illuminates Schellng's definition of the uncanny's 'something that should have remained hidden and has come into open'",M1.


strange, mysteriously unsettling
a Freudian concept

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Extensive Definition

Uncanny may refer to:
  • The Uncanny Valley is a principle of robotics concerning the emotional response of humans to robots and other non-human entities.
uncanny in German: Unheimlich
uncanny in French: Fantastique

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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