Xenophobia is the ”deep-rooted fear towards foreigners", and "fear of the unfamiliar”. The word comes from the Ancient Greek words xenos, meaning "strange", "foreigner", and phobos, meaning "fear"

Xenophobia can manifest itself in many ways involving the relations and perceptions of an in-group towards an out-group, including a fear of losing identity, suspicion of its activities, aggression, and desire to eliminate its presence to secure a presumed purity.

Xenophobia can also be exhibited in the form of an "uncritical exaltation of another culture" in which a culture is ascribed "an unreal, stereotyped and exotic quality”.

The terms xenophobia and racism are sometimes confused and used interchangeably because people who share a national origin may also belong to the same race. Due to this, xenophobia is usually distinguished by opposition to foreign culture.