pa·​ri·​ah | \pə-ˈrī-ə \

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

Start with the international setting that turned Weimar into an encircled pariah state. Josef Joffe, WSJ, "Is Germany Slouching Toward Weimar Again?," 23 Sep. 2018 Argentina’s dramatic return to the international markets included selling a 100-year bond to creditors who until recently had viewed the nation as a serial defaulter and a pariah. Nicolas Parasie, WSJ, "Argentina to Join Widely Watched Emerging Markets Index By MSCI," 20 June 2018 But after failing to adapt to a pro offense and, more notably, being painted as a locker room pariah in New York, Smith now seems relegated to journeyman status. 13. Kellen Clemens (Jets, No. 49 in 2006): Noticing a green-and-white theme? Nate Davis, USA TODAY, "Ranking NFL's second-round QBs since 2000: Is Christian Hackenberg biggest bust?," 14 June 2018 And far from being a pariah in the European Union, Orban is increasingly seen as a model for electoral success. Griffe Witte,, "Once-fringe Soros conspiracy theory takes center stage in Hungarian election," 18 Mar. 2018 Kipnis was cleared, but the episode made her a pariah on campus. Nina Burleigh, Newsweek, "The Battle Against ‘Hate Speech’ on College Campuses Gives Rise to a Generation That Hates Speech," 26 May 2016 And Harvey Weinstein, now facing criminal charges for alleged rape, is a social pariah for perfectly good reasons. Jeet Heer, The New Republic, "Is Alan Dershowitz really a victim of Martha’s Vineyard McCarthyism?," 3 July 2018 Argentina was a pariah among international investors for 15 years following an $80 billion default in 2001. Julie Wernau, WSJ, "Argentine President Wows Global Investors But Is Losing Confidence at Home," 26 June 2018 Throughout the sanctions years, Cambodia has remained a relatively welcoming environment for the pariah regime. Anna Fifield, Washington Post, "North Korea’s friends in southeast Asia are ready to return to business as usual," 4 June 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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