oth·​er·​ness | \ ˈə-t͟hər-nəs How to pronounce otherness (audio) \

Definition of otherness

1 : the quality or state of being other or different
2 : something that is other or different

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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 That sense of otherness as a child fostered a deep compassion and empathy for outsiders that shaped the rest of Dressen's life. Star Tribune, "Joan Dressen, co-founder of first Minneapolis chapter of PFLAG and champion of LGBT rights, dies at 86," 22 Dec. 2020 The best of them seem touched by an otherness, an otherlandishness, of being. Jason Kehe, Wired, "The Madness of Susanna Clarke, Fairy Princess," 21 Sep. 2020 There’s no time to think about anything other than the Now, and the not-Now increasingly takes on the character of an unwelcome and, in its otherness, even befouling imposition. Alan Jacobs, Harper's Magazine, "No Time But the Present," 15 Sep. 2020 Traditional judgmentalism is hardest to escape in the homeland, but the striations of caste, complexion, money and religion paint faultlines of separation and otherness even in places that are supposed to be more liberated. Dallas News, "D-FW-based author Jenny Bhatt’s debut collection ‘Each of Us Killers’ reveals a world of humanity," 8 Sep. 2020 Such policies nurtured what had long been a defining trait of the Lower 9th Ward: A strong sense of otherness, the bond forged by neglect from a city that moated it off. John Simerman, NOLA.com, "The tropics. Re-opening of schools. Return of sports | Get the facts ➔ Subscribe now for 2.32/week," 29 Aug. 2020 In choosing Patel, Iannucci makes manifest David’s sense of otherness, giving a depth to David’s desire to find his way in the world. Sean P. Means, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Review: A new ‘David Copperfield’ shows Dickens’ story is as timely as ever," 27 Aug. 2020 Like no other event in recent memory, the killing of George Floyd has ripped curtains of indifference and bashed barriers of otherness in this community and across the country. Steven Belton, Star Tribune, "White people who want to help should take small steps — but take them right now," 3 Aug. 2020 Utilizing your 'otherness' for good can take you further. Emy Rodriguez Flores, Redbook, "What It’s Like Being an LGBTQ+ POC Journalist and How I Found Solace in Writing," 26 May 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'otherness.' 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 otherness

1587, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for otherness

Time Traveler

The first known use of otherness was in 1587

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Statistics for otherness

Last Updated

9 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Otherness.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/otherness. Accessed 20 Jan. 2021.

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How to pronounce otherness (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of otherness

literary : the quality of being different or unusual

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