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From Old French estrangier(foreign, alien), from estrange, from Latin extraneus(foreign, external) (whence also English estrange), from extra(outside of). Displaced native Old English eldritch.




  1. comparative form of strange: more strange
    • Truth is stranger than fiction. (English proverb)

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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.
    • 1893, Walter Besant, The Ivory Gate, chapter III:
      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. A newcomer.
    • 1918, W. B. Maxwell, chapter 7, in The Mirror and the Lamp:
      […] 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.
  4. (humorous) One who has not been seen for a long time.
    Hello, stranger!
  5. (obsolete) One not belonging to the family or household; a guest; a visitor.
    • John Milton (1608-1674)
      To honour and receive / Our heavenly stranger.
  6. (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.



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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.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Shakespeare to this entry?)