xenophobia

noun
xe·​no·​pho·​bia | \ ˌze-nə-ˈfō-bē-ə How to pronounce xenophobia (audio) , ˌzē-\

Definition of xenophobia

: fear and hatred of strangers or foreigners or of anything that is strange or foreign

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Did You Know?

If you look back to the ancient Greek terms that underlie the word xenophobia, you'll discover that xenophobic individuals are literally "stranger fearing." Xenophobia, that elegant-sounding name for an aversion to persons unfamiliar, ultimately derives from two Greek terms: xenos, which can be translated as either "stranger" or "guest," and phobos, which means either "fear" or "flight." Phobos is the ultimate source of all English -phobia terms, but many of those were actually coined in English or New Latin using the combining form -phobia (which traces back to phobos). Xenophobia itself came to us by way of New Latin and first appeared in print in English in the late 19th century.

Examples of xenophobia in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web At a press conference with business leaders on Monday, South Africa’s police minister Bheki Cele tried to deemphasize the role of xenophobia in the attacks saying the police were focused on criminality by all actors regardless of nationality. Yinka Adegoke, Quartz Africa, "Hundreds of Nigerians are taking up the government’s offer to be evacuated from South Africa," 10 Sep. 2019 Is my suspicion of calls from foreign countries a form of xenophobia? Calvin Trillin, The New Yorker, "Phone Calls from All Over," 22 July 2019 That visit — and that chant — continues to reverberate loudly here nearly a month later, particularly for those, like Badwan, who see themselves as targets of a campaign to whip up xenophobia and hate. Griff Witte, Washington Post, "After El Paso, the ‘send her back’ chant echoes to some as a prelude to murder," 13 Aug. 2019 The chats revealed discriminatory attitudes — including homophobia, transphobia, misogyny, xenophobia and fat-shaming — and a callous indifference for the people of Puerto Rico, including the thousands who died after Hurricane Maria. NBC News, "For Puerto Rico's LGBTQ community, fight doesn't end with Rosselló," 26 July 2019 Based on information from law enforcement, the shooter in El Paso was motivated by xenophobia and this is a case of domestic terrorism. Saja Hindi, The Denver Post, "After mass shootings, Denver police increase patrols at one Walmart, elected leaders push for solutions," 4 Aug. 2019 In a larger sense, Ogboh’s work celebrates globalism and cultural pluralism at a time when Western democracies —including the United States — are awash in right-wing nationalism, xenophobia, racial division and hostility to immigration. Steven Litt, cleveland.com, "Emeka Ogboh installation fills CMA atrium with sound of Nigeria and timely message of diversity," 11 Aug. 2019 That reasoned xenophobia was reinforced by British colonialists, who turned their muskets and cannons on the islanders, stole their land, then stood back as pestilence carried off most of the population. Alex Perry, Outside Online, "The Last Days of John Allen Chau," 24 July 2019 The House passed a resolution condemning the xenophobia Tuesday night. María Méndez, Dallas News, "Here’s what eight Dallas women, all Republican activists, have to say about Trump’s ‘go back’ tweets," 17 July 2019

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

1877, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for xenophobia

New Latin

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Statistics for xenophobia

Last Updated

26 Sep 2019

Time Traveler for xenophobia

The first known use of xenophobia was in 1877

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More Definitions for xenophobia

xenophobia

noun
How to pronounce xenophobia (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of xenophobia

: fear or hatred of strangers or foreigners

xenophobia

noun
xe·​no·​pho·​bia | \ ˌzen-ə-ˈfō-bē-ə How to pronounce xenophobia (audio) , ˌzēn- How to pronounce xenophobia (audio) \

Medical Definition of xenophobia

: fear and hatred of strangers or foreigners or of anything that is strange or foreign

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More from Merriam-Webster on xenophobia

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for xenophobia

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with xenophobia

Spanish Central: Translation of xenophobia

Nglish: Translation of xenophobia for Spanish Speakers

Comments on xenophobia

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