an aversion or hostility to, disdain for, or fear of foreigners, people from different cultures, or strangers: Xenophobia and nationalism can be seen as a reaction to the rise of globalization.
fear or dislike of the customs, dress, etc., of people who are culturally different from oneself:Learning a foreign language can help to overcome xenophobia.
More recently, the term xenophobia has been used by science-fiction writers to refer to fear or hatred of intelligent lifeforms from outer space. The term alien itself originally referred to foreigners, and only took on the extended meaning of extraterrestrial beings in the 1920s.
A related term that often comes up in the context of xenophobia is otherness : “the quality or state of being perceived or treated as different, foreign, strange, etc.” Otherness has existed in English since the 1500s, though its early uses were often in the context of a spiritual transcendence beyond the human experience. By the 1800s, otherness was used in reference to cultural foreignness.
While the etymology of xenophobia explicitly links it to the psychological response of fear, otherness can be thought of in terms of sociological identity, defining what is normative by naming what is not.
- xen·o·pho·bic, adjective, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use xenophobia in a sentence
We have been looking not only into whether a tweet is true or not, but also into whether it’s spreading panic, or it is promoting bad cure, or xenophobia, racism.Machine-learning project takes aim at disinformation | MIT Technology Review Insights | May 3, 2021 | MIT Technology Review
Once here, professional bona fides insulated the first generation from some xenophobia.How the Pressure of the Model Minority Myth Restricts Our Imagination—and Our Freedom | Sanjena Sathian | April 9, 2021 | Time
After all, the United States has a long and ugly history of scapegoating racial and ethnic groups for diseases in ways that are used to justify xenophobia.Why The Recent Violence Against Asian Americans May Solidify Their Support Of Democrats | Michael Tesler | April 1, 2021 | FiveThirtyEight
He also discusses the xenophobia and racism that he and other detainees experienced from guards at the Bossier Parish Medium Security Facility in Plain Dealing, La.
What makes the show truly compelling is its subtle commentary on race and xenophobia.‘Lupin’ is a thrilling heist series, but it goes deeper than that | Bethonie Butler | January 21, 2021 | Washington Post
These groups are generally united in their thuggery and xenophobia.
Since then, a bitter xenophobia has emerged in Odessa just as it has in cities across eastern Ukraine.
We will give up and stop any manifestations of chauvinism and xenophobia.Can Ukraine Control Its Far Right Ultranationalists? | Oleg Shynkarenko | March 1, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
Pakistan needs a change of direction away from the xenophobia and paranoia fed by its controlling army.Pakistan’s Change of Guard and General Ashfaq Kayani’s Legacy | Husain Haqqani | December 2, 2013 | THE DAILY BEAST
Violent xenophobia and bigotry are just part of the conversation.Why Are Israelis Tone Deaf to Incitement Against Palestinians? | Emily L. Hauser | October 25, 2013 | THE DAILY BEAST
What in the West they esteem as national sentiment, in the East they consider xenophobia.'The New World of Islam | Lothrop Stoddard
This intuition, it seems, is based less on statistics than on plain old xenophobia.After the Rain | Sam Vaknin
This xenophobia is a remarkably constant feature of eighteenth-century satire on "taste."The Man of Taste | James Bramston
British Dictionary definitions for xenophobia
hatred or fear of foreigners or strangers or of their politics or culture
- xenophobic, adjective
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
Cultural definitions for xenophobia
An unreasonable fear, distrust, or hatred of strangers, foreigners, or anything perceived as foreign or different.
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.