xenophobia

noun
xe·​no·​pho·​bia | \ ˌze-nə-ˈfō-bē-ə , 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

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 The rampant xenophobia that has already become murder in a horrifying number of circumstances? Jenny Hollander, Marie Claire, "Do I Have to Vote? Here Are Some of the Scary Things That Could Happen If You Don't," 6 Nov. 2018 In the middle of the century, patriotism, nationalism, xenophobia, and an emphasis on traditional family structures proliferated regardless of party identity. Emily Atkin, The New Republic, "Why Do Carrot Hot Dogs Make You So Mad?," 3 July 2018 The hotel staff becomes suspicious of the couple in a satire that plays on xenophobia, homophobia, and the genuine underlying fear of living in a city repeatedly targeted by terrorists. Kathleen Craughwell, latimes.com, "The Moviegoer, Dec. 7-13," 5 Jan. 2018 But what used to be easy to pass off as guilty-pleasure reality TV tension now feels like a grim reminder of the xenophobia running rampant in our country these days. Bonnie Stiernberg, Glamour, "I'm Divorcing Myself From 90 Day Fiancé," 27 July 2018 The massive influx of Venezuelans has overburdened social services in Roraima state and led to an increase in crime, prostitution, disease and incidents of xenophobia. Fox News, "Pregnant Venezuelan women going to Brazil to give birth," 22 Aug. 2018 Other white women candidates, meanwhile, have used xenophobia in their campaigns. Anna North, Vox, "Why racist politics appeals to white women, explained by American history," 14 Nov. 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

17 Jan 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 , ˌzēn- \

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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