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.
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Recent Examples on the Web Churchill Downs suspended the trainer, Medina Spirit didn't compete for the Triple Crown and the trainer found himself as a pariah in a sport he's been a dominant force in for decades. Chris Bumbaca, USA TODAY, 30 Dec. 2021 Eleni is now regarded as a pariah by the same people that once saw her as a hero. Quartz Contributor, Quartz, 7 Dec. 2021 Famous people and ordinary citizens alike have been fired from jobs, stripped of opportunities, and banished to a social-pariah wilderness for transgressing new language conventions or for expressing heterodox views. Harry Bruinius, The Christian Science Monitor, 29 Nov. 2021 The pre-owned market, previously a pariah of the luxury watch world, is booming. Laura Mccreddie-doak, Wired, 26 Nov. 2021 By now, many see him as just a super successful art-world pariah making paintings for rich collectors. Jerry Saltz, Vulture, 12 Nov. 2021 With Hernández a pariah and Bukele openly defiant, Guatemala was the only Northern Triangle country where the Administration could hope to muster a semblance of official coöperation. Jon Lee Anderson, The New Yorker, 8 Nov. 2021 Merryman was seen by many people in the industry as instrumental to changing YouTube’s image in Hollywood from a pariah to a key partner that could help market programs from studios and networks. Wendy Lee, Los Angeles Times, 1 Nov. 2021 The Taliban are considered an international pariah for their legacy of brutality., 11 Sep. 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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Dictionary Entries Near pariah

Paria, Gulf of


pariah dog

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Statistics for pariah

Last Updated

3 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Pariah.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Jan. 2022.

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English Language Learners Definition of pariah

: a person who is hated and rejected by other people

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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