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

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 The elderly patrons challenge the interloper to a fistfight. Abigail Deutsch, Harper's magazine, "Bette on the Blues," 22 July 2019 This created an opportunity for an outsider that Mr Perot, pint-size, scrappy and quivering with contempt for both parties (as well as hostility towards the president—a Yankee interloper to his beloved state), seized with hyperactive brio. The Economist, "Remembering third-party presidential candidate Ross Perot," 11 July 2019 Intent on protecting her young, the Mooseheart eagle squawked at the interloper and chased him away. Nara Schoenberg, chicagotribune.com, "A tale of lost love, mistaken identity, courageous single parenting — and bald eagles," 18 June 2019 Be an Advocate A new interloper in the house is a big and often unpleasant change for even the most social dogs, says Katherine Pankratz, a clinical behavioral-medicine fellow at the North Carolina State College of Veterinary Medicine. Kathryn Miles, Outside Online, "How to Introduce Your New Dog to Your Old Dog," 14 Aug. 2019 That’s because those goofs typically give read permission to interlopers, but not the ability to write code. Brian Barrett, WIRED, "Hack Brief: A Card-Skimming Hacker Group Hit 17K Domains—and Counting," 11 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

17 Sep 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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