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

The migrant crisis stretched European resources thin, fueling xenophobia and frustration even in welcoming states. Erin Blakemore, National Geographic, "Human migration sparked by wars, disasters, and now climate," 12 June 2019 Vlaams Belang, however, has retained its xenophobia and has now re-emerged in grand fashion. Annalisa Merelli, Quartz, "75 years after D-Day, these countries are facing a nationalist resurgence," 6 June 2019 Today, nationalism, xenophobia, trade barriers and just plain hate — all the elements that produced World War II — once again dominate global politics. Jeffrey A. Engel, Twin Cities, "Jeffrey Engel: The lesson of D-Day for Americans today," 6 June 2019 American enjoyment may also be rooted in xenophobia and anti-Russian bias, which pervaded the country during the Cold War when Chernobyl happened, and has returned to some extent amid Russia's ongoing attack on US democracy. Emily Dreyfuss, WIRED, "2019 Needed a Hit as Bleak as Chernobyl," 4 June 2019 But the problems of detention, Patriot Act-style powers, xenophobia and crises of conscience don’t seem to have lost much ground. The Seattle Times, "Look Ahead: The hottest Seattle events for April 2019," 5 Apr. 2019 This is perhaps due to xenophobia, religious concern, and weariness of people who challenge society’s core beliefs. Lisa Stardust, Teen Vogue, "How to Do Magic and Other Questions You Might Have About Being a Witch," 30 Apr. 2019 Critics say it is only being fomented by a mix of nationalist and socially conservative Kremlin ideology that at times borders on xenophobia. Dmitry Zaks, chicagotribune.com, "Racism problems taint Russian soccer ahead of World Cup," 29 Mar. 2018 In his studies, Mr. Sík has asked the same question on xenophobia since 1992: Should Hungary allow in all asylum seekers, none, or only some? Sara Miller Llana, The Christian Science Monitor, "As Hungary votes, memories of a mythical past loom large," 6 Apr. 2018

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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Last Updated

20 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for xenophobia

The first known use of xenophobia was in 1877

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More Definitions for xenophobia

xenophobia

noun

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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with xenophobia

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for xenophobia

Spanish Central: Translation of xenophobia

Nglish: Translation of xenophobia for Spanish Speakers

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