Definition of xenophobia
: fear and hatred of strangers or foreigners or of anything that is strange or foreign
xenophobia was our Word of the Day on 04/20/2013. Hear the podcast!
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 1903.
Origin and Etymology of xenophobia
First Known Use: 1877
XENOPHOBIA Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of xenophobia for English Language Learners
: fear or hatred of strangers or foreigners
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