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

That relationship allowed investigators to paint Muck as both subversive and immoral—a one-two punch of xenophobia and puritanism. Alex Ross, The New Yorker, "The “Star-Spangled Banner” Controversy That Altered the Course of American Music," 2 July 2019 These leaders meld corporatist economics with xenophobia and authoritarianism. Tara Golshan, Vox, "Read: Bernie Sanders defines his vision for democratic socialism in the United States," 12 June 2019 The nation thus provides a judicious mean between deracinated cosmopolitanism and a tribalism that succumbs to xenophobia. Daniel J. Mahoney, National Review, "Democracy’s Moral Foundations: Recovering Our ‘Constitution in Full’," 20 June 2019 All this is explored through the eyes of Mr Stanley’s two subjects, both of whom resisted the tide of militarism and xenophobia. The Economist, "How Einstein and Eddington stood against jingoism," 7 June 2019 But in many cases, xenophobia is far from peripheral. Mark Lilla, The New York Review of Books, "How to Write About the Right: An Exchange," 17 Jan. 2019 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

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

18 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

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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