English

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Pronunciation

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Etymology 1

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Adjective

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stranger

  1. comparative form of strange: more strange
    Truth is stranger than fiction.

Etymology 2

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From Middle English straunger, from Old French estrangier (foreign, alien), from estrange, from Latin extraneus (foreign, external) (whence also English estrange), from extra (outside of). Cognate with French étranger (foreigner, stranger) and Spanish extranjero (foreigner). Displaced native Old English fremde (literally strange or unfamiliar person).

Noun

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stranger (plural strangers)

  1. A person whom one does not know; a person who is neither a friend nor an acquaintance.
    That gentleman is a stranger to me.
    Children are taught not to talk to strangers.
    • 1892, Walter Besant, chapter III, in The Ivory Gate [], New York, N.Y.: Harper & Brothers, [], →OCLC:
      In former days every tavern of repute kept such a room for its own select circle, a club, or society, of habitués, who met every evening, for a pipe and a cheerful glass. [] Strangers might enter the room, but they were made to feel that they were there on sufferance: they were received with distance and suspicion.
  2. An outsider or foreigner.
  3. One not admitted to communion or fellowship.
  4. A newcomer.
    • 1918, W[illiam] B[abington] Maxwell, chapter VII, in The Mirror and the Lamp, Indianapolis, Ind.: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, →OCLC:
      [] St. Bede's at this period of its history was perhaps the poorest and most miserable parish in the East End of London. Close-packed, crushed by the buttressed height of the railway viaduct, rendered airless by huge walls of factories, it at once banished lively interest from a stranger's mind and left only a dull oppression of the spirit.
    • 1950 April, Timothy H. Cobb, “The Kenya-Uganda Railway”, in Railway Magazine, page 263:
      The first thing that strikes the stranger is the sharpness of the curves on the metre gauge; it is not unusual for a long train to be travelling in three directions at once, and the engine is frequently in full view of the windows of the ninth or tenth carriage.
    • 2023 June 17, Emma Smith, “Malta 0-4 England”, in BBC Sport[2]:
      Wearing number 66 for his club side, Alexander-Arnold is no stranger to an unusual shirt number. Regardless, the sight of the right-back wearing 10 in central midfield for England was guaranteed to catch the eye.
  5. (humorous) One who has not been seen for a long time.
    Hello, stranger!
  6. (obsolete) One not belonging to the family or household; a guest; a visitor.
    • 1667, John Milton, “Book V”, in Paradise Lost. [], London: [] [Samuel Simmons], and are to be sold by Peter Parker []; [a]nd by Robert Boulter []; [a]nd Matthias Walker, [], →OCLC; republished as Paradise Lost in Ten Books: [], London: Basil Montagu Pickering [], 1873, →OCLC:
      To honour and receive / Our heavenly stranger.
  7. (law) One not privy or party to an act, contract, or title; a mere intruder or intermeddler; one who interferes without right.
    Actual possession of land gives a good title against a stranger having no title.
    • 1980 August 9, Jil Clark, “Lesbian Mother Fights For Son”, in Gay Community News, page 1:
      [Judge Beverly] Davis then granted the adoption to the new wife of the boy's father; this action designated the boy's natural mother a "legal stranger," terminating all rights the mother had to visit her child.
  8. (obsolete) A superstitious premonition of the coming of a visitor by a bit of stalk in a cup of tea, the guttering of a candle, etc.
Synonyms
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Antonyms
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Hyponyms
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Derived terms
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Translations
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The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.
See also
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Verb

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stranger (third-person singular simple present strangers, present participle strangering, simple past and past participle strangered)

  1. (obsolete, transitive) To estrange; to alienate.

Anagrams

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Middle English

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Noun

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stranger

  1. Alternative form of straunger

Scots

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Adjective

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stranger

  1. comparative degree of strang
  2. comparative degree of strange