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

Amid blond, blue-eyed Californians, Mary was a pariah. Town & Country, "Mary Boone Is Taking a Break," 18 Apr. 2019 Ali’s opposition to the war made him a pariah at first, but the years of his college tour coincided with changing public opinion. Erik Brady, USA TODAY, "50 years ago today, Muhammad Ali lost to a former nun," 13 Mar. 2018 Europe continues to enforce an arms embargo against Sudan, and many Sudanese leaders are international pariahs, accused of committing war crimes during a civil war in Darfur, a region in western Sudan. Patrick Kingsley, New York Times, "By Stifling Migration, Sudan’s Feared Secret Police Aid Europe," 22 Apr. 2018 In high school, at the height of the Just Say No movement in the late ‘80s, we were taught that kids who used drugs were pariahs, weak. Nadia Bowers, Time, "What I’d Say to the Drug Dealer Who Gave My Sister a Fatal Dose of Heroin," 19 May 2018 The government badly needed a credible vote to help end its status as a global pariah, have international sanctions lifted and open the door to investment in an economy that collapsed under Mugabe. Farai Mutsaka, Fox News, "Zimbabwe opposition rejects ruling and 'false' inauguration," 25 Aug. 2018 The Age of Reason ought to have rescued the black cat from its pariah status, but superstitions die hard. Amanda Foreman, WSJ, "The Dark Lore of Black Cats," 18 Oct. 2018 These days, in the era of #MeToo, the musical chairs politics of such portrait galleries has accelerated, as scores of former masters of the universe have become pariahs overnight. Town & Country, "Wall of Shame: What Happens to Controversial Portrait Walls in the #MeToo Era?," 30 Nov. 2018 Amid the controversy, other football teams canceled their upcoming games with Nihon, turning the school into something of a pariah. Ken Belson, New York Times, "The Football Hit Felt All Over Japan," 22 May 2018

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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English Language Learners Definition of pariah

: a person who is hated and rejected by other people

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More from Merriam-Webster on pariah

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with pariah

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for pariah

Spanish Central: Translation of pariah

Nglish: Translation of pariah for Spanish Speakers

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

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