late 13c., "from elsewhere, foreign, unknown, unfamiliar," from Old French estrange "foreign, alien, unusual, unfamiliar, curious; distant; inhospitable; estranged, separated" (Modern French étrange), from Latin extraneus "foreign, external, from without" (source also of Italian strano "strange, foreign," Spanish extraño), from extra "outside of" (see extra-). In early use also strounge, straunge. Sense of "queer, surprising" is attested from late 14c. In nuclear physics, from 1956.
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