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

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web After overseeing one of the biggest blow-ups in Internet history, Julie Wainwright was a Silicon Valley pariah. Maggie Mcgrath, Forbes, 4 June 2021 Of his earlier sources of reassurance: Boehner fled Congress to author a book decrying his colleagues' dysfunction; Romney has become a pariah as the only Republican senator who twice voted to convict Trump on impeachment charges. John Harwood, CNN, 23 May 2021 Ethan Nordean was becoming a pariah in Des Moines and beyond. Los Angeles Times, 16 May 2021 But over the past six months, the group has become almost a pariah in the movie business. Time, 11 May 2021 And in the last couple of years, his critics have had plenty of ammunition in a spate of positive drug tests — all of which Baffert has been able to muddy up enough to avoid becoming a pariah. Dan Wolken, USA TODAY, 9 May 2021 Brazil is not used to being an international pariah. Andre Pagliarini, The New Republic, 23 Apr. 2021 Now, Greenberg is a pariah, and their friendship, for Gaetz, is a liability. Orlando Sentinel Podcasts,, 23 Apr. 2021 Brazil, meanwhile, is a pariah in international climate talks for its deforestation of the Amazon. Josh Siegel, Washington Examiner, 20 Apr. 2021

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.

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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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Statistics for pariah

Last Updated

8 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Pariah.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for pariah



English Language Learners Definition of pariah

: a person who is hated and rejected by other people


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