interloper

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noun in·ter·lop·er \ˌin-tər-ˈlō-pər, ˈin-tər-ˌ\

Definition of interloper

  1. :  one that interlopes: as a :  an illegal or unlicensed trader b :  one that intrudes in a place or sphere of activity

Examples of interloper in a sentence

  1. I had hoped to help my neighbors, but they regarded me as an interloper.

  2. <summer residents were regarded as interlopers who had no deep commitment to the town's welfare>

Did You Know?

When English speakers combined "inter-" with "-loper" in the late 1500s, they already had a word landloper (now archaic) for "a person who runs about the land" (in other words, a vagrant). The "-loper" part of "interloper" is related to Middle Dutch and Old English words meaning "to run" and "to leap." An "interloper" is essentially one who jumps into the midst of things without an invitation to do so. In its earliest uses, "interloper" referred specifically to one who interfered in trade illegally - that is, a trader who trespassed on the rights or charters of others. Sometimes "interloper" even referred to a ship employed in illegal trading. But the word quickly took on extended use, coming to refer not just to intrusion in trade but also in personal affairs or other matters.

Circa 1590

First Known Use of interloper

circa 1590


INTERLOPER Defined for English Language Learners

interloper

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noun in·ter·lop·er \ˌin-tər-ˈlō-pər, ˈin-tər-ˌ\

Definition of interloper for English Language Learners

  • : a person who is not wanted or welcome by the other people in a situation or place


INTERLOPER Defined for Kids

interloper

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noun in·ter·lop·er \ˌin-tər-ˈlō-pər\

Definition of interloper for Students

  1. :  a person present in a situation or place where he or she is not wanted



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