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

The Mousetrap San Leandro Players presents Agatha Christie’s classic whodunit about a group of strangers trapped by a storm who discover that a murderer is among them., "Theater capsule reviews and listings, week of July 15," 12 July 2018 Nothing brought him more joy than throwing a football and engaging in lively conversation with family, friends, or complete strangers alike., "William Carlton Gordon," 12 July 2018 Sure, extroverts have an easier time approaching strangers out of the blue. Ellevate,, "How cold calling could actually work when you're networking," 12 July 2018 For instance, Sophia has absolutely no problem walking up to complete strangers and introducing you as the greatest person to ever be great. Danielle C. Belton, The Root, "Marvel's Luke Cage Premiere Party Was Cool and I Was Cool Too For Once," 24 June 2018 So to know that the impact has been equal for strangers and for close friends is, to me, very indicative that this is a human thing, and isn't reserved for one kind of person. Megan Lasher, Seventeen, "Alyson Stoner on What It Was Like to Come Out Publicly," 22 June 2018 Intimate strangers are beamed into our living spaces, leading idealized versions of family life with most of the ugly stuff (financial struggle, impossible expectations, and sour disappointments) airbrushed out of the picture. Jeff Lipsky, HWD, "Milo Ventimiglia, Sara Gilbert, Constance Wu, and Other TV Moms and Dads Sound Off," 14 June 2018 Just 19, France's Kylian Mbappé is one of the biggest names in world football -- and no stranger to pressure. Motez Bishara, CNN, "World Cup: Is Russia 2018 the last chance for Messi and Ronaldo?," 13 June 2018 The Coyotes are no strangers to taking on large contracts for salary-cap purposes. Richard Morin, azcentral, "Arizona Coyotes complete seven-player deal with Chicago Blackhawks," 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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Learn More about stranger

Phrases Related to stranger

no stranger to

Statistics for stranger

Last Updated

16 Sep 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).


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