- One that interferes with the affairs of others, often for selfish reasons; a meddler.
- One that intrudes in a place, situation, or activity: “When these interlopers choke out native species, ecologists see a danger signal” ( William K. Stevens )
a. One that trespasses on a trade monopoly, as by conducting unauthorized trade in an area designated to a chartered company.
b. A ship or other vessel used in such trade.
Origin of interloper inter- probably
Middle Dutch lōper runner
( from lōpen to run
Related Forms:Word History:
The word interloper
has its origin in the time when England was embarking on the course that would lead to the British Empire. Interloper
is first recorded in the late 1500s in connection with the Muscovy Company, the earliest major English trading company (chartered in 1555). The word was soon being used in connection with independent traders competing with the East India Company (chartered in 1600). These companies were established as monopolies, and independent traders, called interlopers,
were not welcome. The term is probably partly derived from Dutch, the language of one of the great trade rivals of the English at that time. The inter-
is simply the prefix inter-,
which English has borrowed from Latin, meaning “between, among.” The element -loper
is probably related to the same element in landloper,
“vagabond,” a word adopted from Dutch landloper,
with the same sense and composed of land,
“land,” and loper,
“to run, leap.” The word interloper
soon came to be used in the extended sense “meddler, person who intrudes in others' affairs” by the 1630s.
- One who interferes, intrudes or gets involved where not welcome, particularly a self-interested intruder.
- They disliked the interloper, and forced him to leave.
1590s, from inter- + loper (“runner, rover”), as in landloper (“vagrant”) (from Dutch) or lope (“to leap, to jump”) (originally dialectical). Originally spelt enterloper and used in specific sense “unauthorized trader trespassing on privileges of chartered companies”, later general sense of “self-interested intruder” from 1630s.