from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Strange, unusual, rare; unfamiliar; marvellous, wondrous.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Rarely known; unusual; strange.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Rarely or little known; unusual; uncommon; strange; wonderful.
  • n. A wonder; a marvel.


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English, from Old English selcūþ, seldcūþ ("unusual, unwonted, little known, unfamiliar, novel, rare"), from seld- ("rarely") + cūþ ("known"); equivalent to seld +‎ couth.


    Sorry, no example sentences found.


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • The cock is a magus, forsooth,

    With ways of knowing selcouth.

    He'll peck at the ground

    Until he has found

    The elusive kernel of truth.

    See also alectryomancy.

    August 9, 2014

  • The definition in whichbe's comment is from the website where i originally read the word a few years ago, and instantly fell in love.

    This is my absolute favorite word!

    May 21, 2009

  • Strange; unfamiliar; marvellous. Combining the sense of strangeness with that of wonder, selcouth is a fantastic self-referential word, being both marvellous and (to most English speakers) entirely unfamiliar. No word is really synonymous with it, and it reflects very well the sense of wonder and amazement at seeing something truly new and unusual. (From The Phrontistery)

    June 11, 2008

  • Literally, 'seldom known'! Has a lovely old english sound to it!

    June 12, 2007