I'm looking for a noun/adjective which describe a person lonliness and being stragner in a social group. In Persian we have this word غریب which means not being known by others or being a foreigner in a remote country far away from homeland. We also use this word metaphorically when we want to say that somebody seems "not well being understood by others" and "not having real/close friend" or "being away from be loved ones". In other words for us this adjective refers to a feeling which a person feels when (s)he doesn't feel connected with others, in a way that ended up in a little sadness and loneliness and also this feeling usually contributes to persons personality (his independence and mindfulness). So is there any particular word to which I'll be able to translate غریب‍‍.

  • Hello, Reza. What synonyms of 'loneliness' and 'stranger' have you found, and why don't you think they meet your requirements? If you're struggling with what some of them mean, then perhaps our sister site, ELL, is more appropriate. Jun 9, 2019 at 18:45
  • This is an interesting question. I’m not sure there is such a word. Taken literally, the word would be the adjective ‘nostalgic’ and noun ‘nostalgia’. In Ancient Greek the word ‘nostos’ (νόστος) means ‘return home’ and ‘algos ‘ (άλγος) means ‘pain’: so by derivation it means the feeling of longing for home, especially after emigration. But In British and American English this notion has acquired a much broader range of meaning: the longing to return to things, ideas and circumstances that have passed away. [CONTINUED]
    – Tuffy
    Jun 9, 2019 at 19:18
  • I wonder whether the British have no word for the feeling you mention. Historically, they have left for lands over which the British ruled or had colonised. To the extent that they found themselves among people of a different culture, it was as rulers or colonists (or prisoners, in the antipodes). They, or their wives and families might perhaps feel ‘homesick’, but that does not seem to me to be the same as the concept you are talking about.
    – Tuffy
    Jun 9, 2019 at 19:26
  • Hello @EdwinAshworth, I didn't find anything to describe the state/feeling I mentioned in question; the synonyms which I found was only describing one accepts of being alone or being away, and also I don't know whether they refer to the personality development or not! I hope I've made my intention clear. Jun 10, 2019 at 3:55
  • Please read the recommendations on writing a good question given in the Help Center (see @Cascabel's link below). Jun 10, 2019 at 18:43

6 Answers 6


'Alien' and 'Outcast' don't do all the work you require, so perhaps a compound, a poetic device, like "Stranger in a strange land" - which has religious (Exodus) and literary (Heinlein novel) associations. Or "Square peg in a round hole." "Sticking out like a sore thumb." "Like a dog with no tail." Many more, I'm sure.

  • 4
    Probably 'alien', 'alienation' and 'feelings of alienation' come closest to what OP means. I think they're closer than 'pariah', so I won't add this as an answer. I can't upvote here though, Simon, as answers lacking corroborative references are not what ELU really requires. Jun 9, 2019 at 18:40
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    Yes, Simon, what Edwin said...As I already posted in a comment on an unrelated question...please take a moment to visit our Help Page "How to write a good answer" Jun 9, 2019 at 19:52
  • Thanks Cascabel - I've checked that out and don't see where I'm going wrong. Further clarification welcome.
    – Simon Webb
    Jun 9, 2019 at 19:55
  • 1
    We prefer answers that give meaning in context, and include citations, sources, and links. "Links to external resources are encouraged, but please add context around the link so your fellow users will have some idea what it is and why it’s there. Always quote the most relevant part of an important link, in case the target site is unreachable or goes permanently offline." This is not actually one of those "chatty" sites (well, maybe in the comment section or chat); it is a "serious" site expecting good answers to good questions. Jun 9, 2019 at 20:10
  • If you do a little edit on your answers, I will upvote; your answers show some nice ideas... Jun 9, 2019 at 20:15

removed adj. OED

distant, remote, or separate in space, time, or relationship

As in: Children of the Resolution By Gary William Murning

I felt removed from everything about me. But that was the way I wanted it, I told myself. I was not a part of it, it was not a part of me.


"Estranged" may me sufficient in the context you describe. Merriam Webster gives this as the second definition of estranged.

2 : to remove from customary environment or associations "The first words spoken were not those of one becoming estranged from this world, and already permitted to stray at times into realms foreign to the living."— Charlotte Brontë

I think of Mersault as estranged in Camus's The Stranger. "Meursault is psychologically detached from the world around him. Events that would be very significant for most people, such as a marriage proposal or a parent’s death, do not matter to him, at least not on a sentimental level. He simply does not care that his mother is dead, or that Marie loves him."

And the mood established in the Door's song "When You're a Stranger," is estrangement: Lyric: "People look ugly when you're alone."


I like the following terms for this meaning:

Pariah: :excluded, looked down upon, or ignored. In common English speech an outcast may be anyone who does not fit in with normal society, which can contribute to a sense of isolation.:






  • These are all somewhat negative external descriptors and don't describe the internal emotional state of the subject.
    – user662852
    Jun 11, 2019 at 5:44

There is an adjective for this in English:


feeling that you do not belong in a particular society, place, or group. Many single parents feel alienated from society; angry and alienated teenagers (Macmillan)


When I first returned to my native country, I had gotten out of the habit of talking my native language. I could still speak it, but everything came out veery sloowly. Even my own mother was driven nuts by my slow pace. I couldn't explain my problem satisfactorily to her or anyone else at the time. I felt alienated. It was a difficult time. Later I met others who had lived as expatriates for some time, and then experienced similar difficulties when they returned to the country they had grown up in. I found out I wasn't alone.


I have a few ideas:

  1. Estrangement (noun)
  • Estrangement is the feeling that you don't belong, especially when you're surrounded by other people. If you've ever had to sit by yourself in a school cafeteria, you know what estrangement feels like. Vocabulary.com

I think this is a great word for what you're asking! It could also be an adjective as estranged

You could also use the idiom of a black sheep

  • The black sheep is the odd one out, whether he's a disgrace to the family or just doesn't seem to belong. (Vocabulary.com)

  • a disfavored or disreputable member of a group (Merriam Webster)

  1. Outcast (noun)
  • An outcast is someone who is not accepted by a group of people or by society.

EX: He had always been an outcast, unwanted and alone. (Collins)

  • a person who has no place in their society or in a particular group, because the society or group refuses to accept them (Cambridge)

Or as an adjective:

  • pertaining to or characteristic of an outcast

EX: outcast misery. (Dictionary.com)

The word social outcast may help reiterate!

Outsider (n.) and reject (n.) are good synonyms as well.

Definition of outsider:

  • a person who does not belong to a particular group (Merriam)

Definition of reject:

  • a rejected person or thing

especially : one rejected as not wanted, unsatisfactory, or not fulfilling requirements (Merriam)

I also agree with Ibf's removed!

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