late 13c., "from elsewhere, foreign, unknown, unfamiliar," from O.Fr. estrange
) "foreign, alien," from L. extraneus
"foreign, external," from extra
"outside of" (see extra
). Sense of "queer, surprising" is attested from late 14c. Stranger
, attested from late 14c., never picked up the secondary sense of the adj. As a form of address to an unknown person, it is recorded from 1817, Amer.Eng. rural colloq. Meaning "one who has stopped visiting" is recorded from 1530.