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Etymology 1[edit]



  1. comparative form of strange: more strange
    Truth is stranger than fiction.

Etymology 2[edit]

From Middle English straunger, from Old French estrangier (foreign, alien), from estrange, from Latin extraneus (foreign, external) (whence also English estrange), from extra (outside of). Cognate with French étranger (foreigner, stranger) and Spanish extranjero (foreigner). Displaced native Old English fremde (literally strange or unfamiliar person).


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.
    • 1892, Walter Besant, chapter III, in The Ivory Gate [], New York, N.Y.: Harper & Brothers, [], →OCLC:
      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. One not admitted to communion or fellowship.
  4. A newcomer.
    • 1918, W[illiam] B[abington] Maxwell, chapter VII, in The Mirror and the Lamp, Indianapolis, Ind.: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, →OCLC:
      [] 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.
  5. (humorous) One who has not been seen for a long time.
    Hello, stranger!
  6. (obsolete) One not belonging to the family or household; a guest; a visitor.
  7. (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.
  8. (obsolete) A superstitious premonition of the coming of a visitor by a bit of stalk in a cup of tea, the guttering of a candle, etc.
Derived terms[edit]
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.
See also[edit]


stranger (third-person singular simple present strangers, present participle strangering, simple past and past participle strangered)

  1. (obsolete, transitive) To estrange; to alienate.


Middle English[edit]



  1. Alternative form of straunger