out·​sid·​er | \ˌau̇t-ˈsī-dər, 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

As a Tesla board member, Ms. Denholm has provided some rare automotive experience to a company that prides itself on being an industry outsider. Robb M. Stewart, WSJ, "Meet Tesla’s New Chairman, Who Has to Oversee Elon Musk," 8 Nov. 2018 Jordan is the outsider — a conservative ideologue, who only three years ago stood in the way of McCarthy becoming House speaker. Tara Golshan, Vox, "The fight to lead House Republicans now that they’re in the minority, explained," 8 Nov. 2018 Arguably, that’s because Russell is an outsider viewing the action from a removed vantage and never really breaking past that distant point of observation. Tasha Robinson, The Verge, "Netflix’s Hold the Dark throws Jeffrey Wright to the wolves," 28 Sep. 2018 Phil and Suzanne Ouellette were two of the only business leaders willing to take a chance on the neighborhood during the 1990s when it was known by outsiders as nothing more than a drug haven. Shawn R. Beals, Courant Community, "After 24 Years, The Owners Of Eli Cannon's Are Selling The Bar To Longtime Employees," 13 July 2018 Bareilles: As a young kid who felt like an outsider in my normal school life, discovering the theater community was discovering my first tribe. Curtis M. Wong, Billboard, "Sara Bareilles & Josh Groban On Hosting The 2018 Tonys: 'We're Going To Embrace Our Weirdness'," 9 June 2018 Even outsiders are beginning to put the soccer first. Andrew Beaton, WSJ, "How Russia Gave Itself a Facelift for the World Cup," 4 July 2018 Lee, who leads a local group demanding the Yemeni nationals be deported, believes outsiders compete for jobs and pose a threat to local safety. Fortune, "‘Fake Refugees Get Out.’ How South Koreans Are Channeling Trump," 28 June 2018 Currently, the only glimpses of Ad Astra available to outsiders come from a 2017 webinar interview with the school’s principal (captured in an unlisted YouTube video) and recent public filings like the IRS document referenced above. Mark Harris, Ars Technica, "First space, then auto—now Elon Musk quietly tinkers with education," 25 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

13 Nov 2018

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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

: a person or animal that is not expected to win a race or competition


out·​sid·​er | \au̇t-ˈsī-dər \

Kids Definition of outsider

: a person who does not belong to a particular group

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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 clear from alleged fault or guilt

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