This week’s word is “xenophobia.” Sadly, it’s a word we’ve seen in the news a lot lately, and it may be useful in your own writing or journaling.
- fear and hatred of strangers or foreigners or of anything that is strange or foreign (from Merriam-Webster)
- fear or dislike of customs, dress, etc., of people who are culturally different from oneself (dictionary.com)
According to Merriam-Webster, the derivation of the word comes from two ancient Greek terms: xenos (stranger or guest) and phobos (fear or flight). You’ll recognize phobos as the root for other words ending in –phobia. The first instances of xenophobia in print go back to the late 19th century. The related adjective is xenophobic.
Synonyms for xenophobic
Examples of “xenophobia/xenophobic” usage
The politician’s rhetoric fanned the flames of nationalism and xenophobia to convince his followers he was going to protect them.
As he walked into the bar, he realized everyone there had dark skin and seemed to be staring at him. The tightness in his stomach was uncharacteristically xenophobic.
How would you use “xenophobia” or “xenophobic” in a sentence?