What is the difference between that's odd, that's weird, and that's strange?

  • 1
    What about bizarre, exotic and eccentric? Add them to your question if you think they can be in the list too.
    – B Faley
    Jan 9, 2012 at 19:48
  • 1
    The differences would be largely dependent on the local culture. Particularly among high school and college students particular terms will pass into and out of favor in the local community, and so the meaning will be shaded by that.
    – Hot Licks
    May 6, 2015 at 17:43

2 Answers 2


While they may be used interchangeably in casual conversation, they actually have different meanings. From an etymological dictionary:

  • Odd (a jut of land): something not usual or expected. Has no special positive or negative connotation. Winning a lottery would be odd but neither weird nor strange.

  • Weird (fated): Something supernatural or beyond human understanding. A fortune-teller predicting your future would be weird, but probably neither odd nor strange.

  • Strange (foreign): Something unfamiliar. A type of material (rock, cloth, or such) you've never seen before would be strange but not weird, and odd only if it were otherwise unusual or rare.

  • Thank you!!! I think these fine connotations are surely present in the native speakers' subconscious when they use these words.
    – brilliant
    Jan 9, 2011 at 21:15
  • Another thing to keep in mind is these are all subjective experiences; what is odd to one person may be strange but not odd to another, weird only to a third, all three to another person, and none to someone else. Jan 9, 2011 at 21:39
  • nicely put
    – John Satta
    Jan 9, 2011 at 22:22

There isn't a lot of difference between them - they can be used almost interchangeably. To the extent that there is a difference (and anyone pays attention to the fine gradations in the terms), then:

  • "That's odd" indicates the least surprise.
  • "That's strange" indicates a bit more surprise.
  • "That's weird" indicates more puzzlement and disbelief.

None of them expresses outright disbelief in whatever is being discussed, but there is always a background sentiment of "that should not be happening; are you sure it did?".

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