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

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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

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 American troops have been sent to relieve the British garrison protecting this neutral nation, and United States counterintelligence agents are already billeted at the old leper hospital. Marilyn Stasio, New York Times, "Missing Bodies, Missing Killers, Deadly Missed Opportunities," 25 May 2018 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

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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Dictionary Entries near leper





leper's squint



Statistics for leper

Last Updated

1 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for leper

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 How to pronounce leper (audio) \

Medical Definition of leper

: an individual affected with leprosy

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More from Merriam-Webster on leper

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with leper

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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).


miscellaneous remnants or debris

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