strang·​er | \ˈstrān-jər \

Definition of stranger 

(Entry 1 of 3)

1 : one who is strange: such as

a(1) : foreigner

(2) : a resident alien

b : one in the house of another as a guest, visitor, or intruder

c : a person or thing that is unknown or with whom one is unacquainted

d : one who does not belong to or is kept from the activities of a group

e : one not privy or party to an act, contract, or title : one that interferes without right

2 : one ignorant of or unacquainted with someone or something



Definition of stranger (Entry 2 of 3)

: of, relating to, or being a stranger : foreign


strangered; strangering; strangers

Definition of stranger (Entry 3 of 3)

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Synonyms & Antonyms for stranger

Synonyms: Noun

foreigner, nonnative, outlander, outsider

Antonyms: Noun


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Examples of stranger in a Sentence


Children are taught not to talk to strangers. He is a complete stranger to me. “Excuse me. Do you know where the library is?” “I'm sorry. I'm a stranger here myself.” I'm a stranger to the area.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Her smile, her laugh and her jokes made every stranger a friend., "Deaths in South Florida: 6/27," 27 June 2018 George is no stranger in the tongue-wagging department: He was spotted at the window during the Trooping the Colour ceremony in June 2015, mouth agape, tongue out, hands raised and laughing uproariously as his nanny grinned. Maria Puente, USA TODAY, "Prince George and Princess Charlotte goof off at palace window, stick out tongues," 10 July 2018 Buy Photo As the heat index peaked at 106 Tuesday, the hottest day so far this year, strangers at unshaded crosswalks exchanged anguished scowls. Julia Terruso,, "While you're chillin' out on the 4th, these workers will be sizzling," 3 July 2018 Every so often his mother abandoned Garrett, leaving him with strangers. Paul Theroux, Smithsonian, "The Epic Quest to Ride the World’s Biggest Wave," 27 June 2018 Bagley’s father, Marvin Bagley Jr., grabs the mic, beckoning for his now-famous son to show off his lyrical stylings in front of a room largely filled with strangers. Jake Fischer,, "Marvin Bagley: 'I Still Think I Could Be the No. 1 Pick'," 20 June 2018 Earlier this month, Carolina Panthers wide receiver Torrey Smith went to church with complete strangers. Jourdan Rodrigue, charlotteobserver, "Panthers WR Torrey Smith's potential impact on Charlotte is much bigger than football," 31 May 2018 Cities are filled with strangers who possess an unnerving energy, who hail us with stories, songs, and poems. Hua Hsu, The New Yorker, "The Spectacular Personal Mythology of Rammellzee," 21 May 2018 And while Jason Bateman is no stranger to the comedy categories, this will be his first nomination in a drama series, for Netflix's Ozark. Omar Sanchez, The Hollywood Reporter, "Emmy Polls: Who Should Win?," 12 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Every pro sports star has signed tons and tons of autographs for fans, but some of them have signed stranger things than others. Alysha Tsuji, For The Win, "J.J. Watt's weirdest autograph: Signed pregnant woman's belly, then later met her baby," 7 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'stranger.' 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 stranger


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


15th century, in the meaning defined above


1606, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for stranger


Middle English, from Anglo-French estrangier stranger, foreigner, from estrange

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Statistics for stranger

Last Updated

11 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for stranger

The first known use of stranger was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for stranger



English Language Learners Definition of stranger

: someone who you have not met before or do not know

: someone who has not experienced something

: someone who is in a new and unfamiliar place


strang·​er | \ˈstrān-jər \

Kids Definition of stranger

1 : a person in a new or unfamiliar place She is a stranger here and does not know her way around.

2 : a person whom another person does not know or has not met Children should not talk to strangers.



Legal Definition of stranger 

: someone who is not a party or in privity with a party (as to a contract or legal action) may be enforced against a stranger to the contract

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Comments on stranger

What made you want to look up stranger? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


noxious or harmful

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