lep·​er | \ ˈle-pər How to pronounce leper (audio) \

Definition of leper

1 : a person affected with leprosy
2 : a person shunned for moral or social reasons

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of leper in a Sentence

a convicted child molester who is treated as a leper wherever he goes
Recent Examples on the Web Her work from Kolkata, India, helping orphans, lepers and the poor had spread to other countries. Chris Kenning, The Courier-Journal, "37 years after Mother Teresa came to Appalachia, her nuns return to help the poor," 24 Dec. 2019 St James’s Park was created in 1533, on the site of a former leper hospital. B.r., The Economist, "The violent history of London’s Royal Parks," 22 Nov. 2019 In 1913, when Crete became part of Greece, all lepers in Greece were sent there. Liz Cantrell, Town & Country, "Greece Is More Popular Than Ever—But It Can Still Surprise You," 18 Oct. 2019 The group has been treated like lepers most of the season, the underperforming, unreliable, unsightly hanger-on riding the coattails of an electric offense. Nick Moyle, ExpressNews.com, "Texas secondary steps up in win over West Virginia," 5 Oct. 2019 His time at the leper hospital, too, doesn’t suggest an easy conscience. Christopher Tayler, Harper's magazine, "New Books," 19 Aug. 2019 Farrokhzad’s eyes are wide open in this look at a leper colony in northern Iran. Peter Keough, BostonGlobe.com, "Doc Talk: Outcasts, deportees, crustaceans, grants," 1 Aug. 2019 The island served as a leper colony in the mid-1800s and their graves are scattered around the island. Cori Murray, Essence, "Watch “ESSENCE Escapes”: How to Make the Most of 36 Hours in Cape Town," 1 July 2019 More than 225,000 European immigrants and enslaved Africans spent time at the medical way station, dubbed the Lazaretto after St. Lazarus of Bethany, the patron saint of lepers, and a similar quarantine station in Venice. Inga Saffron, https://www.inquirer.com, "This building on the Delaware River saved immigrant lives for 95 years. Now it’s been rescued by Tinicum Twp. | Inga Saffron," 4 June 2019

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

See More

First Known Use of leper

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for leper

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from lepre leprosy, from Late Latin lepra, from Greek, from lepein to peel; perhaps akin to Lithuanian lopas piece, scrap

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about leper

Time Traveler for leper

Time Traveler

The first known use of leper was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for leper

Last Updated

6 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Leper.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/leper. Accessed 18 January 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for leper


How to pronounce leper (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of leper

: a person who has leprosy
: someone who is disliked and avoided by other people


lep·​er | \ ˈlep-ər How to pronounce leper (audio) \

Medical Definition of leper

: an individual affected with leprosy

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on leper

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for leper

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with leper

Spanish Central: Translation of leper

Nglish: Translation of leper for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of leper for Arabic Speakers

Comments on leper

What made you want to look up leper? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


experienced by way of someone else

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

The Eponym Quiz

  • rubens painting
  • Which is the best synonym of bowdlerize?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!