[ zen-uh-fahyl, zee-nuh- ]
/ ˈzɛn əˌfaɪl, ˈzi nə- /
Save This Word!

a person who is attracted to foreign peoples, cultures, or customs.
There are grammar debates that never die; and the ones highlighted in the questions in this quiz are sure to rile everyone up once again. Do you know how to answer the questions that cause some of the greatest grammar debates?
Question 1 of 7
Which sentence is correct?

Origin of xenophile

First recorded in 1945–50; xeno- + -phile
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What is a xenophile?

A xenophile is someone who is attracted to foreign people, places, and customs.

If you love learning about different cultures from around the world and get excited about visiting different countries to experience how other people leave, you can describe yourself as a xenophile.

But you don’t have to travel the world to be a xenophile. You can learn about other cultures’ customs at home. It might be as simple as learning to cook foods from other cultures, listening to other cultures’ music, and exploring their language and art in your favorite medium.

Example: When Zeke visits other countries, they become a bit of a xenophile, learning everything they can during the trip.

Where does xenophile come from?

The first records of the term xenophile come from around the 1940s. It combines the combining form xeno-, meaning “alien,” “strange,” or “guest,” and the combining form -phile, meaning “lover of,” or “enthusiast for.”

Xenophile is sometimes used in contrast to xenophobe, which is more commonly used. A xenophobe is someone who dislikes or fears other cultures and sometimes the people from those cultures. While xenophiles may embrace a more open and diverse population in their home country or community, many xenophobes prefer a closed, uniform population, not wanting people, businesses, or influences from other cultures. Such communities tend to be very fearful of anything different.

Did you know … ?

What are some words that share a root or word element with xenophile? 

What are some words that often get used in discussing xenophile?

What are some words xenophile may be commonly confused with?

How is xenophile used in real life?

People often use xenophile to describe themselves or others in relation to their passion for other cultures.

Try using xenophile!

Is xenophile used correctly in the following sentence?

People sometimes think a xenophile just loves another culture’s food and music, but there is more to every culture.

British Dictionary definitions for xenophile

/ (ˈzɛnəˌfaɪl) /

a person who likes foreigners or things foreign

Word Origin for xenophile

C19: from Greek, from xeno- + -phile
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