strang·​er | \ ˈstrān-jər How to pronounce stranger (audio) \

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)

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms & Antonyms for stranger

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Noun

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of stranger in a Sentence

Noun 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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The Minnesota senator is no stranger to clean electricity standards, which generally require utilities to obtain an increasing amount of electricity from renewable and zero-carbon energy sources. Abby Smith, Washington Examiner, "Daily on Energy: Smith lobbies for aggressive strategy to pass Biden 2035 climate target in split Senate," 4 Feb. 2021 Bezos is no stranger to tensions with the U.S. government in recent years, as former President Donald Trump blamed the Amazon owner for stories published by the Washington Post, a publication Bezos owns. Joel Gehrke, Washington Examiner, "Amazon link to Uighur crackdown could draw Bezos into clash with Biden," 11 Feb. 2021 The Swedish oat-drink company, founded in 1994, is no stranger to controversy. Danielle Campoamor,, "We Need To Talk About That Oatly Super Bowl Commercial," 8 Feb. 2021 Biden is no stranger to Mexico, either, having led the U.S. delegation in 2012 to the inauguration of then-Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto. Tom Benning, Dallas News, "‘Divorce is not an option’: U.S., Mexico reset relations in post-Trump era, even as AMLO pokes at Biden," 29 Jan. 2021 Candace is no stranger to standing up to her critics. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "Candace Cameron Bure Just Shut Down Her Instagram Trolls in the Absolute Best Way," 26 Jan. 2021 And while news of their relationship comes at the end of the run for Keeping Up With the Kardashians, Barker himself is no stranger to the world of reality TV, having starred in two seasons of Meet the Barkers with Moakler from 2005-06 on MTV. Justin Curto, Vulture, "Travis Barker Is Reportedly Kourtney Kardashian’s Punk Rock Prince," 25 Jan. 2021 Documentarian Lucy Walker is no stranger to Sundance, having previously screened work at the festival that dove into topics like Huntington's disease and competitive snowboarding. Keaton Bell, Vogue, "What to Watch At the First Virtual Sundance Film Festival," 25 Jan. 2021 Author and activist Amanda Gorman is no stranger to being first. Alison S. Cohn, Harper's BAZAAR, "Inaugural Poet Amanda Gorman on Her Style and Cultural Influences," 21 Jan. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Of all the improbable developments in the Premier League’s pandemic season, none is stranger than West Ham—which hasn’t finished in the top six this century—gunning for a spot in next season’s Champions League. Joshua Robinson, WSJ, "How West Ham Cracked Covid-Ball in the Premier League," 26 Feb. 2021 But still there is power in remaining in the public eye, and as sure as the Rams were once in Cleveland, stranger things have happened. Dom Amore,, "Dom Amore: Don’t sweat it, Whalers fans, the wearing of the green only means Hartford’s hockey team will never be forgotten," 22 Feb. 2021 Reality, Tahar Rahim reminds us, is often stranger than fiction — especially in the case of the disturbing true story behind his new film, The Mauritanian. Lauren Huff,, "Tahar Rahim on why his character in The Mauritanian is a 'lifetime lesson'," 18 Feb. 2021 Head coach Adam Gase shouldn’t return for another season, but stranger things have happened. Mike Jones, USA TODAY, "Opinion: The Jets played to win vs. the Rams, draft pick be damned. And they were right to do so.," 23 Dec. 2020 If that feels rather on-the-beak, sometimes truth is stranger than fiction. Gary Goldstein, Los Angeles Times, "Review: A bird inspires Naomi Watts in family drama ‘Penguin Bloom’," 27 Jan. 2021 And, of course, there are actual earthquakes in the book, the first of which, in a remarkable case of life being stranger than fiction, happened in Armenia, her mother’s birthplace, the day her mother left Owusu when the writer was just 3. Washington Post, "For a multiracial writer, a life marked by earthquakes and other upheavals," 15 Jan. 2021 But as supporters say, stranger things have happened — as recently as Wednesday, in fact. New York Times, "The 51st State? Washington Revisits an Uphill Cause With New Fervor," 10 Jan. 2021 The uncertainty is even stranger this season with no fans in the stands to watch Fitzgerald’s possible finale. Mark Heim |, al, "Cardinals vs. Rams live stream (1/3): How to watch NFL Week 17 online, TV, time," 3 Jan. 2021

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about stranger

Time Traveler for stranger

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for stranger

Last Updated

2 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Stranger.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLA Chicago APA Merriam-Webster

Keep scrolling for more

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 How to pronounce stranger (audio) \

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

Keep scrolling for more

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).


Test Your Vocabulary

Who Knew?

True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!