"fantastical, odd, grotesque," 1640s, from French bizarre "odd, fantastic" (16c.), from Italian bizarro "irascible, tending to quick flashes of anger" (13c.), from bizza "fit of anger, quick flash of anger" (13c.). The sense in Italian evolved to "unpredictable, eccentric," then "strange, weird," in which sense it was taken into French and then English. The older proposed derivation from Basque bizar "a beard" is no longer considered tenable.
updated on October 13, 2022