interloper

noun
in·​ter·​lop·​er | \ ˌin-tər-ˈlō-pər How to pronounce interloper (audio) , ˈin-tər-ˌlō-\

Definition of interloper

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

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Synonyms for interloper

Synonyms

busybody, buttinsky (also buttinski), interferer, intermeddler, intruder, kibitzer (also kibbitzer), meddler, nosey parker [chiefly British]

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The History of Interloper

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.

Examples of interloper in a Sentence

I had hoped to help my neighbors, but they regarded me as an interloper. summer residents were regarded as interlopers who had no deep commitment to the town's welfare

Recent Examples on the Web

During the setup process, users can add a list of residents’ plates, to avoid mistaking a neighbor for an interloper. Los Angeles Times, "Neighbors are using these smart cameras to track strangers’ cars — and yours," 13 Sep. 2019 Venus also had to handle being treated as an interloper by the other players. Elizabeth Weil, New York Times, "Did Venus Williams Ever Get Her Due?," 22 Aug. 2019 Emotions and motivations are less clear for Ruby (Haddish), who puts up with a philandering spouse (James Badge Dale) and a blatantly racist mother-in-law (Margo Martindale) who will never stop seeing her as an interloper from Harlem. Sheri Linden, The Hollywood Reporter, "'The Kitchen': Film Review," 7 Aug. 2019 Their point of view is often at the mercy of an interloper who comes in and tells the story with his or her own interpretation. Jonny Auping, Longreads, "‘Victims Become This Object of Fascination… This Silent Symbol.’," 23 Aug. 2019 Idiosyncratic interlopers like Blueface, Juice WRLD and Lil Pump have forced the music industry to incorporate a wider array of sounds and scour these digital platforms in hopes of folding these new talents into their existing system. Andrew R. Chow, Time, "'It Feels Like I’m Chosen to Do This.' Inside the Record-Breaking Rise of Lil Nas X," 15 Aug. 2019 Looking intently at the scene from about 40 feet away, a local interloper waits for a chance to snag a free meal. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Devoted parents, they purify the environment: Meet the vultures," 30 Aug. 2019 The roof may leak, but the kitchen is modern, a sleek and functional interloper. Alexandra Lange, Curbed, "What ‘Where’d You Go, Bernadette?’ meant to me as a woman in architecture," 13 Aug. 2019 Luckily, the interlopers were confused by the whole situation, and everything turned out swimmingly. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Empty Nester Loons Adopt a Mallard Chick in Northern Wisconsin," 27 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'interloper.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of interloper

circa 1590, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for interloper

Last Updated

15 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for interloper

The first known use of interloper was circa 1590

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More Definitions for interloper

interloper

noun

English Language Learners Definition of interloper

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

interloper

noun
in·​ter·​lop·​er | \ ˌin-tər-ˈlō-pər How to pronounce interloper (audio) \

Kids Definition of interloper

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on interloper

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for interloper

Spanish Central: Translation of interloper

Nglish: Translation of interloper for Spanish Speakers

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