out·​sid·​er | \ ˌau̇t-ˈsī-dər How to pronounce outsider (audio) , ˈau̇t-ˌsī-\

Definition of outsider

1 : a person who does not belong to a particular group
2 chiefly British : a contender not expected to win

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Other Words from outsider

outsiderness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for outsider


foreigner, nonnative, outlander, stranger



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Examples of outsider in a Sentence

To outsiders, the ritual may seem strange. She felt like an outsider in her new school. An outsider defeated the champion! She was a rank outsider who managed to win.
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Recent Examples on the Web

According to the Daily Mail, the palace recently installed a 950-foot hedge to block outsiders' views of the back garden, where the royal couple often arrive and take off by helicopter. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Kensington Palace Reportedly Plants 950-Foot Hedge for Kate Middleton and Prince William's Privacy," 8 Apr. 2019 To an outsider, Britain’s difficulties launching itself out of the European Union look mainly procedural or political. Joseph C. Sternberg, WSJ, "The U.K.’s Brexit Journey of Self-Discovery," 28 Mar. 2019 In one piece, Nuanced outsider, Yao considers the problem of ocean pollution with a striking visual: a bunch of moldering teddy bears. Marley Marius, Vogue, "At the Honolulu Biennial, Artist Amy Yao Examines Environments and Identity (With the Help of Some Algae)," 12 Mar. 2019 Why was Kate Middleton such an outsider at her first high school? Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "Kate Middleton Was "Desperately Unhappy" and Tortured by Bullies at Her First Secondary School, Downe House," 10 Mar. 2019 There is the violence of a father who’s intolerant of his son’s sexuality, and the inherent violence of being made an outsider in the community he was raised in. Vox Staff, Vox, "The most thought-provoking books the Vox staff read in 2018," 21 Dec. 2018 My family was working class—just in the lower income bracket of our working class neighborhood, which left me feeling like an outsider. Veronica Walsingham, SELF, "Growing Up With Less Money Than My Friends Made Me Obsessed With Having Wealthy-Looking Hair," 15 Nov. 2018 Like Rachel, Michael feels like an outsider in elitist Asian society — and there’s plenty of drama to show for it. Jasmine Arielle Ting, Teen Vogue, "Meet the Entire Cast of "Crazy Rich Asians" and the Characters They Play: Constance Wu, Awkwafina, Henry Golding, and More," 1 Aug. 2018 Nevertheless, his detractors—from both ends of the political spectrum—have accused Mr Georgiou of conspiring with outsiders to subject Greece to austerity. The Economist, "The hounding of Greece’s former statistics chief is disturbing," 14 June 2018

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

1800, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for outsider

Last Updated

17 Apr 2019

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Time Traveler for outsider

The first known use of outsider was in 1800

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English Language Learners Definition of outsider

: a person who does not belong to or is not accepted as part of a particular group or organization
chiefly British : a person or animal that is not expected to win a race or competition


out·​sid·​er | \ au̇t-ˈsī-dər How to pronounce outsider (audio) \

Kids Definition of outsider

: a person who does not belong to a particular group

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More from Merriam-Webster on outsider

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with outsider

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for outsider

Spanish Central: Translation of outsider

Nglish: Translation of outsider for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of outsider for Arabic Speakers

Comments on outsider

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


to affect and impair by alcohol or a drug

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