Examples Word Origin See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com an outcast. any person or animal that is generally despised or avoided. ( initial capital letter) a member of a low caste in southern India and Burma. Origin of pariah 1605–15; < Tamil paṟaiyar, plural of paṟaiyan literally, drummer (from a hereditary duty of the caste), derivative of paṟai a festival drum Related forms pa·ri·ah·dom, noun pa·ri·ah·ism, noun
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for pariahdom Historical Examples They walked on together, and I dropped behind suddenly realising my pariahdom. British Dictionary definitions for pariahdom a social outcast (formerly) a member of a low caste in South India Word Origin
C17: from Tamil
paraiyan drummer, from parai drum; so called because members of the caste were the drummers at festivals
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Word Origin and History for pariahdom pariah n.
1610s, from Portuguese
paria or directly from Tamil paraiyar, plural of paraiyan "drummer" (at festivals, the hereditary duty of members of the largest of the lower castes of southern India), from parai "large festival drum." "Especially numerous at Madras, where its members supplied most of the domestics in European service" [OED]. Applied by Hindus and Europeans to any members of low Hindu castes and even to outcastes. Extended meaning "social outcast" is first attested 1819.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
The word originally stems from the caste system of India, which put pariahs in a very low place in society. In the United States, it refers to those of low social class or social
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.