xe·​no·​phobe ˈze-nə-ˌfōb How to pronounce xenophobe (audio) ˈzē- How to pronounce xenophobe (audio)
: one unduly fearful of what is foreign and especially of people of foreign origin
xenophobic adjective
xenophobically adverb

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Xenophobe Has Greek Roots

Xenophobe is partly based on the Greek noun xenos, meaning "stranger, guest, foreigner". Unlike other phobias, xenophobia isn't really considered an abnormal condition; instead, it's generally thought of as just serious narrow-mindedness, the kind of thinking that goes along with racism and extreme patriotism. In times of war, a government will often actually try to turn all its citizens into xenophobes.

Examples of xenophobe in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In the last week or so, Fox has managed to malign poor retirees and Jews while pandering to xenophobes. Patrick J. McDonnell, Los Angeles Times, 27 July 2023 Or rather, a xenophobe. Nandini Balial, Vulture, 1 Nov. 2022 During a brief speech, Vance told a crowd of around 200 people at the Hillbrook Country Club that complaining about border security could get one cast by the political left as a xenophobe. Andrew J. Tobias, cleveland, 18 July 2021 She’s a xenophobe and a bigot who ruthlessly abused her position today to slander a woman, who has absolutely nothing to do with the daily business of Parler, simply because she was born outside of the United States. Jake Dima, Washington Examiner, 21 Jan. 2021 Anyone who challenges [the establishment’s] control is deemed a sexist, a racist, a xenophobe, and morally deformed. David Montgomery, Washington Post, 14 Jan. 2021 Many liberals, after all, don’t hesitate to rip Trump as a racist, misogynistic xenophobe who has only further divided the country during his first term. Tom Benning, Dallas News, 31 Aug. 2020 This is why nationalist politicians who raise the threat of war win supporters for stopping foreigners: thinking about our possible death can turn us into self-righteous, aggressive, inward-looking xenophobes. Dan Cable, Scientific American, 13 May 2020 But from a xenophobe’s perspective, the face mask seemed to implicate foreigners as agents of diseases. New York Times, 12 Apr. 2020

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'xenophobe.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


International Scientific Vocabulary

First Known Use

1922, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of xenophobe was in 1922

Dictionary Entries Near xenophobe

Cite this Entry

“Xenophobe.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/xenophobe. Accessed 19 Apr. 2024.

Medical Definition


xe·​no·​phobe ˈzen-ə-ˌfōb How to pronounce xenophobe (audio) ˈzēn- How to pronounce xenophobe (audio)
: a person unduly fearful of what is foreign and especially of people of foreign origin
xenophobic adjective

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