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 Miller resurrects the life and career of Letitia Elizabeth Landon, an accomplished poet in early 19th-century England whose scandalous private life turned her into a social pariah. Stephanie Merry, Washington Post, "October paperback releases: 14 books to read now," 30 Oct. 2020 In just the past five years Argentina went from a pariah of the global financial markets to investor darling that hosted a Group of 20 meeting only to again default on its debt and reinstall capital controls. Patrick Gillespie,, "Cracks Surface in Argentina’s Ruling Coalition as Crisis Deepens," 16 Oct. 2020 Still, Astros players received no discipline from commissioner Rob Manfred and the scandal has made the franchise a pariah within the sport. Chris Bumbaca, USA TODAY, "Sen. Ben Sasse calls Houston Astros 'miserable cheaters' during Amy Coney Barrett hearing," 14 Oct. 2020 At the time, North Korea was one of the world's poorest countries, and an international pariah restrained by economic sanctions for its dogged pursuit of a nuclear weapons program. Joshua Berlinger, CNN, "October 10 was supposed to be a major celebration for Kim Jong Un. Instead he faces his most daunting challenges to date," 8 Oct. 2020 Sudan, long seen as implacably hostile to Israel, could realize economic advantages from the twin developments of an accord with regional economic powerhouse Israel and the shedding of its pariah status as a state sponsor of terror. Anne Gearan, Steve Hendrix, Anchorage Daily News, "Sudan agrees to normalize ties with Israel and end decades of hostility," 23 Oct. 2020 The United States has long labeled Syria, considered a pariah state by much of the world, as a sponsor of terrorism, and has imposed sanctions on the country and its officials for human rights violations before and during the war that began in 2011. Richard Pérez-peña, New York Times, "High-Level U.S. Mission to Syria Sought Release of American Prisoners," 19 Oct. 2020 Sudan, an international pariah for much of Bashir’s three-decade rule, isn’t a signatory to the Rome Statute that established the ICC so isn’t bound by its rulings. Mohammed Alamin,, "Ex-Dictator’s Fate Hangs in Balance as ICC Official Visits Sudan," 18 Oct. 2020 Sent to retrieve her is Yankel, an awkward young man who’s the town disposable pariah. Mark Athitakis, USA TODAY, "Review: A Jewish town-out-of-time collides with 21st century in witty 'The Lost Shtetl'," 12 Oct. 2020

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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Time Traveler for pariah

Time Traveler

The first known use of pariah was in 1613

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Statistics for pariah

Last Updated

22 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Pariah.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Dec. 2020.

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How to pronounce pariah (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of pariah

: a person who is hated and rejected by other people

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