And today, in celebration of the upcoming Halloween day, we have another spooky, scary, or Halloween-inspired word: eerie
Quick Vocab Quiz for the word eerie
First, before you read the explanation, definition, and discussion of the word eerie, try this super-short vocab quiz:
eerie most nearly means
(A) spooky (B) sad (C) simple (D) silent (E) slight
Part of Speech: ADJECTIVE
Pronunciations: IPA: /ˈi.ri/ Glossary-style: [EE-ree]
Definition: suggesting the supernatural; mysterious. causing fear, dread, or uneasiness (Ex: an eerie scream).
Example: It is a standard device in horror films to fill the soundtrack with eerie sounds, such as the howls of wolves or distant thunder.
Discussion: eerie is a relatively common word that simply means spooky or mysterious, and is especially used to suggest something supernatural. We can use the word eerie to describe anything supernatural, such as ghosts or haunted houses.
I should point out that it is important that the emotion of fear be associated with the thing that is described as eerie. For example, we would be more likely to describe a haunted house as eerie then a UFO. Similarly, a distant howl of a wolf or scream from a person in pain would be more likely to be described as eerie than would a distant sound of a bird singing or even the notes of a distant harp or piano.
Fairly or unfairly, society tends to view the howls of wolves as frightening, whereas the chirping of many birds (note—the cawing of a crow is typically viewed as eerie or spooky) is generally viewed as something happy.
So, in a word, eerie simply means spooky or mysterious.