In google translate, the word "bizarre" means "very strange or unusual, especially so as to cause interest or amusement.". But I believe that this description is more suited for "eccentric". For example, the character of Jack Sparrow from Pirates of the Caribbean is eccentric.

On the other hand, AI chat GPT says that "bizarre" usually means something odd and unsettling. And I have seen people make use of the word "bizarre" for criticizing something, rather than an expression of fascination.

In Meriam-Webster site, "bizarre" means odd or eccentric in stye.

This means "bizarre" and "eccentric" share the same meaning?

But "Jack Sparrow is such a bizarre person" and "Jack Sparrow is such an eccentric person" don't seem to resonate. I got different vibes from them. Or is it just my feeling?

Both means "unconventional"?

What are their subtle differences, and can I have one example for each that would enlighten me about their differences?

  • 2
    Did you check an actual dictionary? Commented May 8, 2023 at 12:20
  • @Heartspring Yes, from Meriam-Webster, see my edit.
    – Redsbefall
    Commented May 8, 2023 at 12:24
  • @Heartspring they seem to share meaning, but I have made another edit. Two words seem to give different vibes.
    – Redsbefall
    Commented May 8, 2023 at 12:31
  • 2
    Bizarre is a negative. Eccentric may be good (charming) or bad (wacko) depending on your vantage point. People can be eccentric, actions bizarre. Commented May 8, 2023 at 12:35
  • 1
    People are eccentric, things are bizarre. Commented May 8, 2023 at 12:56

1 Answer 1


Although the two words are arguably synonyms (in their prototypical senses as adjectives):

bizarre a: odd, extravagant, or eccentric in style or mode ...

a bizarre outfit

there is a hint of or even arguably requirement for the outlandish with 'bizarre':

bizarre b: involving sensational contrasts or incongruities

both entries from Merriam-Webster.

Probably correspondingly, 'eccentric' is applied to persons more often than 'bizarre' is. It conveys more acceptability of the odd trait:

eccentric [adjective] 1:

[of a person or their behaviour]: unconventional and slightly strange.

[Oxford Languages; via Google]

eccentric 1a: deviating from conventional or accepted usage or conduct especially in odd or whimsical ways

an eccentric millionaire


Examples where I'd argue one synonym works much better than the other:

An example where either works, but with the 'outlandish' thrust if 'bizarre' is chosen:

  • The game was also notable for the bizarre behaviour of the team's manager.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.