See more synonyms for stranger on
  1. a person with whom one has had no personal acquaintance: He is a perfect stranger to me.
  2. a newcomer in a place or locality: a stranger in town.
  3. an outsider: They want no strangers in on the club meetings.
  4. a person who is unacquainted with or unaccustomed to something (usually followed by to): He is no stranger to poverty.
  5. a person who is not a member of the family, group, community, or the like, as a visitor or guest: Our town shows hospitality to strangers.
  6. Law. one not privy or party to an act, proceeding, etc.

Origin of stranger

1325–75; Middle English < Middle French estrangier, equivalent to estrange strange + -ier -ier2
Related formsstran·ger·like, adjective

Synonyms for stranger

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1, 5. Stranger, alien, foreigner all refer to someone regarded as outside of or distinct from a particular group. Stranger may apply to one who does not belong to some group—social, professional, national, etc.—or may apply to a person with whom one is not acquainted. Alien emphasizes a difference in political allegiance and citizenship from that of the country in which one is living. Foreigner emphasizes a difference in language, customs, and background.

Antonyms for stranger


adjective, strang·er, strang·est.
  1. unusual, extraordinary, or curious; odd; queer: a strange remark to make.
  2. estranged, alienated, etc., as a result of being out of one's natural environment: I felt strange as I walked through the crowded marketplace.
  3. situated, belonging, or coming from outside of one's own locality; foreign: to move to a strange place; strange religions.
  4. outside of one's previous experience; hitherto unknown; unfamiliar: strange faces; strange customs.
  5. unaccustomed to or inexperienced in; unacquainted (usually followed by to): I'm strange to this part of the job.
  6. distant or reserved; shy.
  1. in a strange manner.

Origin of strange

1250–1300; Middle English < Old French estrange < Latin extrāneus; see extraneous
Related formsstrange·ly, adverbun·strange, adjectiveun·strange·ly, adverbun·strange·ness, noun

Synonyms for strange

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1. bizarre, singular, abnormal, anomalous. Strange, peculiar, odd, queer refer to that which is out of the ordinary. Strange implies that the thing or its cause is unknown or unexplained; it is unfamiliar and unusual: a strange expression. That which is peculiar mystifies, or exhibits qualities not shared by others: peculiar behavior. That which is odd is irregular or unconventional, and sometimes approaches the bizarre: an odd custom. Queer sometimes adds to odd the suggestion of something abnormal and eccentric: queer in the head. 6. aloof.

Antonyms for strange

4–6. familiar.

Stranger, The

  1. (French L'Étranger), a novel (1942) by Albert Camus. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for stranger

Contemporary Examples of stranger

Historical Examples of stranger

  • "Stranger, thou hast not yet learned the fashions of Athens," said Anaxagoras, gravely.


    Lydia Maria Child

  • The boy came forward, and examined the stranger with curiosity.

    Brave and Bold

    Horatio Alger

  • He quickly turned the boat to the shore, and the stranger jumped on board.

    Brave and Bold

    Horatio Alger

  • "Nothing but a half loaf, and that's dry enough," muttered the stranger.

    Brave and Bold

    Horatio Alger

  • But for the stranger's presence it would have been attended to two hours earlier.

    Brave and Bold

    Horatio Alger

British Dictionary definitions for stranger


  1. any person whom one does not know
  2. a person who is new to a particular locality, from another region, town, etc
  3. a guest or visitor
  4. (foll by to) a person who is unfamiliar (with) or new (to) somethinghe is no stranger to computers
  5. law a person who is neither party nor privy to a transaction


  1. odd, unusual, or extraordinary in appearance, effect, manner, etc; peculiar
  2. not known, seen, or experienced before; unfamiliara strange land
  3. not easily explaineda strange phenomenon
  4. (usually foll by to) inexperienced (in) or unaccustomed (to)strange to a task
  5. not of one's own kind, locality, etc; alien; foreign
  6. shy; distant; reserved
  7. strange to say it is unusual or surprising that
  8. physics
    1. denoting a particular flavour of quark
    2. denoting or relating to a hypothetical form of matter composed of such quarksstrange matter; a strange star
  1. not standard in a strange manner
Derived Formsstrangely, adverb

Word Origin for strange

C13: from Old French estrange, from Latin extrāneus foreign; see extraneous
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 stranger



late 13c., "from elsewhere, foreign, unknown, unfamiliar," from Old French estrange (French étrange) "foreign, alien," from Latin extraneus "foreign, external," from extra "outside of" (see extra). Sense of "queer, surprising" is attested from late 14c. Stranger, attested from late 14c., never picked up the secondary sense of the adjective. As a form of address to an unknown person, it is recorded from 1817, American English rural colloquial. Meaning "one who has stopped visiting" is recorded from 1520s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper