lep·​er | \ˈle-pər \

Definition of leper 

1 : a person affected with leprosy

2 : a person shunned for moral or social reasons

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Examples of leper in a Sentence

a convicted child molester who is treated as a leper wherever he goes

Recent Examples on the Web

Lee’s father, Lee Kuo Yuan, was Mao’s physician, and later helped found a university in Jakarta, before being detained and tortured in Macau, including nineteen months in a leper colony. Andrew Marantz, The New Yorker, "“The Undressing”: Poetry of Passion Laid Bare," 8 May 2017 Sheriff Louis Stolz and two policemen headed out to Kalalau to remove one rogue band of lepers. Brendan Borrell, Smithsonian, "Hawaii’s Last Outlaw Hippies," 28 Feb. 2018 The hospital where Mariana brings Leão was once a leper colony; the island was a penal settlement for the exiled enemies of Portugal’s dictatorship. J. Hoberman, New York Times, "Lav Diaz and Pedro Costa: Slow Cinema on the Cutting Edge," 23 Feb. 2018 Bill is haunted by his missing brother, Georgie; Eddie is stalked by the leper, whose body is rotting and putrid; Beverly fears her aggressive father, who hovers over her. Tyler Coates, Esquire, "The New Version of It Is Shockingly Violent," 8 Sep. 2017 Bill sees Georgie, Bev sees a sink exploding with blood, Ben sees a headless guy in the library, Eddie sees a leper, Mike sees hands trapped behind a burning door, Stan sees a painting come to life, and Richie sees it as a roomful of clowns. Eliza Thompson, Cosmopolitan, "10 Ways the New It Movie Differs From the Book," 8 Sep. 2017 This isolated Pacific peninsula was once a leper colony, where sick native Hawaiians were left to die. Larry Bleiberg, USA TODAY, "Visit these cemeteries — before you die," 27 Oct. 2017 While the stories of Lazarus’s revival or the healing of lepers may be on the outs, there are now Music City Miracles and Lambeau Leaps to compensate. Vann R. Newkirk Ii, The Atlantic, "Football has Always Been a Battleground in the Culture War," 29 Sep. 2017 In addition to menacing clowns, phantasmatic lepers and spooky paintings come to life, the town is home to an ugly assortment of bullies (the worst one played by Nicholas Hamilton), gossips and abusive parents. A. O. Scott, New York Times, "Review: ‘It’ Brings Back Stephen King’s Killer Clown," 6 Sep. 2017

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.

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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

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leper's squint



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

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English Language Learners Definition of leper

: a person who has leprosy

: someone who is disliked and avoided by other people


lep·​er | \ˈlep-ər \

Medical Definition of leper 

: an individual affected with leprosy

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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).


obstinately defiant of authority

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