from The Century Dictionary.

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

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective obsolete Rarely known; unusual; strange.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

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


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.


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

    June 12, 2007

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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