pa·​ri·​ah | \ pə-ˈrī-ə How to pronounce pariah (audio) \

Definition of pariah

1 : a member of a low caste of southern India
2 : one that is despised or rejected : outcast

Examples of pariah in a Sentence

For decades, African states longed for the day when South Africa would be liberated from its status as the apartheid pariah and become the economic engine that would pull Africa out of its mire of poverty and underdevelopment, much as Japan did for the Pacific Rim. — Allister Sparks, Wilson Quarterly, Spring 2001 Once they began to migrate to the United States, especially after this country conferred citizenship on them in 1917, they discovered what it meant to be a pariah in the country that had adopted them. — John Hope Franklin, "The Land of Room Enough," 1981, in Race and History1989 Even as her star was rising in the outside world, she was becoming more and more a pariah in her own village, where her isolation and sense of rejection made her, for a time, a prisoner in her house, a victim of agoraphobia. — Judy Oppenheimer, New York Times Book Review, 3 July 1988 He's a talented player but his angry outbursts have made him a pariah in the sport of baseball. I felt like a pariah when I wore the wrong outfit to the dinner party.
Recent Examples on the Web Later in the day, word circulated that President Biden, after vowing to make Saudi Arabia a ‘pariah’ for the Khashoggi murder and refusing to speak with Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman, would visit the Kingdom later this month. Baker Institute, Forbes, 6 June 2022 The sentencing that followed a September conviction culminated Mr. Kelly’s staggering downfall, from a chart-topping hitmaker known as the king of R&B to a pariah whose musical legacy has become inextricable from his abuses. New York Times, 29 June 2022 Biden’s visit would reneg on a campaign promise to make Mohammed bin Salman a pariah for his role in the murder of American journalist Jamal Khashoggi. al, 14 June 2022 Will somehow turned being the house's biggest pariah into an asset, and, at the end, a $500,000 payday, even after telling the jury everything that was wrong with them. Dalton Ross,, 28 June 2022 This unrepentant stance undoubtedly informed how Peaky Blinders portrayed the controversial figure who became a social pariah in Britain in the 1930s. Emma Fraser, Town & Country, 11 June 2022 Why should the American movie industry keep placating a cultural pariah? Kyle Smith, National Review, 7 June 2022 Tony Blair remains a virtual pariah to this day, David Cameron a figure of open disdain, and Thatcher a source of such continuing hostility that a statue honoring her is egged by protesters. Tom Mctague, The Atlantic, 6 June 2022 The clash turned him into a GOP pariah, and even other Republicans on the outs with Trump, including Gov. Brian Kemp, kept their distance. Globe Staff,, 31 May 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'pariah.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of pariah

1613, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for pariah

Tamil paṟaiyan, literally, drummer

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Dictionary Entries Near pariah

Paria, Gulf of


pariah dog

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Last Updated

26 Jul 2022

Cite this Entry

“Pariah.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Aug. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on pariah

Nglish: Translation of pariah for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of pariah for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about pariah


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