oth·​er·​ness ˈə-t͟hər-nəs How to pronounce otherness (audio)
: the quality or state of being other or different
: something that is other or different

Examples of otherness in a Sentence

As an American growing up in Africa, I always felt a sense of otherness. the otherness of their small religious community
Recent Examples on the Web This ostracism, this otherness, is among the most distressing feelings that can be felt by our social species. Virginia Chamlee, Peoplemag, 30 June 2023 But the casting of Asian American actresses in two of the main roles has reframed the musical to emphasize its exploration of the otherness — an otherness that some Asian Americans often feel in the United States and elsewhere. Matt Stevens, New York Times, 18 June 2023 After the film’s release, Haynes, writing in Bomb magazine, drew attention to Reichardt’s otherness. Doreen St. Félix, The New Yorker, 22 June 2023 Exactly how to integrate the feeling of racial otherness into the show was also an ongoing challenge for the cast. Matt Stevens, New York Times, 18 June 2023 But Ruby’s not nearly as comfortable with her own otherness, which she’s spent her entire life trying to disguise. Peter Debruge, Variety, 15 June 2023 More care has gone into aquarium-style realism than into considering what the fantasy of otherness means. Armond White, National Review, 26 May 2023 Del Toro nicknamed him el Niño Sapo (the Toad Kid), recognizing a kindred otherness in Giménez Cacho. Carlos Aguilar, New York Times, 16 Dec. 2022 Like so many things connected to ideas of progress and development, these conclaves often served to reinforce existing power structures and basic ideas of race and otherness that grew out of slavery and colonialism. Philip Kennicott, Washington Post, 23 Mar. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'otherness.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1587, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of otherness was in 1587

Dictionary Entries Near otherness

Cite this Entry

“Otherness.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/otherness. Accessed 27 Sep. 2023.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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