alien

adjective
\ˈā-lē-ən, ˈāl-yən\

Definition of alien 

(Entry 1 of 3)

1a : belonging or relating to another person, place, or thing : strange an alien environment

b : relating, belonging, or owing allegiance to another country or government : foreign alien residents

c : exotic sense 1 alien plants

d : coming from another world : extraterrestrial alien beings an alien spaceship When it comes to knowing what alien life forms might be like, we don't have any idea.— Kate Shuster

2 : differing in nature or character typically to the point of incompatibility ideas alien to democracy

alien

noun

Definition of alien (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : a person of another family, race, or nation aliens seeking asylum in the U.S.

2 : a foreign-born resident who has not been naturalized and is still a subject or citizen of a foreign country broadly : a foreign-born citizen

3 : extraterrestrial a movie about an invasion of Earth by monstrous aliens

4 : exotic sense 1 Russian thistle, kudzu, and other aliens

alien

verb
aliened; aliening; aliens

Definition of alien (Entry 3 of 3)

transitive verb

2 : to transfer the title of (property)

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Other Words from alien

Adjective

alienly adverb
alienness \-​lē-​ən-​nəs, -​yən-​nəs \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for alien

Synonyms: Adjective

foreign, nonnative

Synonyms: Verb

alienate, disaffect, disgruntle, estrange, sour

Antonyms: Adjective

domestic, native

Antonyms: Verb

reconcile

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Choose the Right Synonym for alien

Adjective

extrinsic, extraneous, foreign, alien mean external to a thing, its essential nature, or its original character. extrinsic applies to what is distinctly outside the thing in question or is not contained in or derived from its essential nature. sentimental value that is extrinsic to the house's market value extraneous applies to what is on or comes from the outside and may or may not be capable of becoming an essential part. arguments extraneous to the issue foreign applies to what is so different as to be rejected or repelled or to be incapable of becoming assimilated. techniques foreign to French cuisine alien is stronger than foreign in suggesting opposition, repugnance, or irreconcilability. a practice totally alien to her nature

Examples of alien in a Sentence

Adjective

new immigrants with customs alien to the community where they have settled it's completely alien to her nature to wish evil of anyone

Noun

aliens seeking asylum in the U.S. He claims that he was captured by space aliens.

Verb

such emotional cruelty will rapidly alien any friends you might possibly have left the couple plans to alien the adjoining house lot to their eldest son
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Even with other researchers probing the ocean depths for simulating alien worlds, a submarine on Europa or Enceladus is probably a long way down the line. John Wenz, Popular Mechanics, "NASA Is Launching a Submarine to the Seafloor," 13 Aug. 2018 Other probes will target other nearby alien worlds in relatively short order thereafter. Mike Wall, Space.com, "Interstellar Travel Requires a Long-Term Approach (and Humans Are Too Impatient)," 10 Aug. 2018 Situated in the forest overlooking the St. Lawrence River, the domes look like any other dome from the outside (which is to say, like amazing alien pods). Liz Stinson, Curbed, "You can rent these modern geodesic domes nestled in a forest," 15 Nov. 2018 Dalton has gotten new feet. Warped, alien, pulled, and tugged feet to be exact. Liana Satenstein, Vogue, "Fecal Matter Has Made Its Photoshopped Skin Shoes Into Actual Wearable Heels—And They're $10,000," 24 Oct. 2018 The Trillion Planet Survey has begun scanning the huge Andromeda galaxy, as well as our own Milky Way, for beams of light that could have been produced by advanced alien civilizations. Mike Wall, Space.com, "Student Project Scans Sky for Alien Laser Beams," 29 Sep. 2018 Which is the point of the exhibition: to remind us all that when one group of people is marked as different, alien, unwanted, less human, the result can be cataclysmic. Howard Reich, chicagotribune.com, "Precious possessions: The genocide survivors who kept them tell their stories," 13 July 2018 Think of the adjectives used to describe him: freak of nature, alien, monster, lab creation. Shawn Windsor, Detroit Free Press, "Michael Jordan's mystique clouds our memories: LeBron is the G.O.A.T," 29 May 2018 In Maine, my background — half white, half Korean — was constantly made to seem alien, or exotic, or somehow inhuman. BostonGlobe.com, "How to write wonderful essays," 20 Apr. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

These numbers tell me is that many evangelicals are not particularly good at loving strangers, aliens, and pilgrims. Ed Stetzer, Vox, "Fellow evangelicals: stop falling for Trump’s anti-immigrant rhetoric," 6 Nov. 2018 If convicted, Nhekairo faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison on the charge of illegally harboring an alien, and a maximum of one year in prison on the charge of withholding the victim’s immigration documents, plus mandatory restitution. Luke Broadwater, baltimoresun.com, "Federal prosecutors charge Anne Arundel County woman with harboring undocumented immigrant," 29 June 2018 The SETI Institute is perhaps best known for its ongoing search for extraterrestrial intelligence, but its podcast, which is partially funded by the NASA Astrobiology Institute, isn’t all aliens and speculation. Erin Blakemore, Washington Post, "Selling science, and debunking pseudoscience, through great stories," 23 June 2018 Conspiracy theorists have tried to explain the mystery with tales of a hijacking, sudden fire and even aliens and black holes. Shelby Fleig, USA TODAY, "The search for MH370 ends next week. Here are the theories behind the plane's disappearance.," 23 May 2018 Also, asteroids, aliens and apocalypses need not apply. Todd Stewart, OrlandoSentinel.com, "'Twister' turns 22 years old: My top 22 natural disaster films," 10 May 2018 An alien is accidentally left behind on Earth and forms a sweet friendship with 10-year-old Elliott. Hannah Dylan Pasternak, SELF, "16 Classic Halloween Movies You Can Stream Right Now," 17 Oct. 2018 But once again, the eyes and brains of people who want to believe this is visual evidence for aliens have shown themselves to be vulnerable to deception. NBC News, "Here's the scientific explanation for that 'alien spaceship' on Mars," 23 June 2018 Its rooms are divided into themes—like aliens and cryptocurrency—that are reflected Bagayan’s own art. Liz Ohanesian, Los Angeles Magazine, "This Artist Is Creating an Entire Tiny World Inside of a Dollhouse," 3 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The objects, their controllers, and their motivations could utterly alien and unknowable. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "That Time the U.S. Navy Had a Close Encounter With a UFO," 18 Dec. 2017 Alien is a horror movie on a spaceship, to which Aliens adds space marines. Charlie Jane Anders, WIRED, "Alien: Covenant Proves ‘Franchise Fatigue’ Really Means ‘Boring Movies’," 19 May 2017 The answer, in any case, can only be the Giger alien itself, a contribution to the pantheon of modern design up there with the Coca-Cola logo and the Nike swoosh. A. O. Scott, New York Times, "Review: ‘Alien: Covenant’ Stays on Brand With Its Terror," 17 May 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'alien.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of alien

Adjective

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for alien

Adjective

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin alienus, from alius other

Noun

see alien entry 1

Verb

see alien entry 1

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Learn More about alien

Dictionary Entries near alien

alicyclic

Alid

alidade

alien

alienable

alienage

alienate

Statistics for alien

Last Updated

4 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for alien

The first known use of alien was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for alien

alien

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of alien

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: not familiar or like other things you have known : different from what you are used to

: from another country

: too different from something to be acceptable or suitable

alien

noun

English Language Learners Definition of alien (Entry 2 of 2)

: a person who was born in a different country and is not a citizen of the country in which he or she now lives

: a creature that comes from somewhere other than the planet Earth

alien

adjective
\ˈā-lē-ən, ˈāl-yən\

Kids Definition of alien

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : different from what is familiar Keeping their hands clean was an alien idea to the young boys.

2 : from another country and not a citizen of the country of residence : foreign an alien resident

3 : from somewhere other than the planet earth an alien spaceship

alien

noun

Kids Definition of alien (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a resident who was born elsewhere and is not a citizen of the country in which he or she now lives

2 : a being that comes from somewhere other than the planet earth

alien

adjective
\ˈā-lē-ən, ˈāl-yən \

Legal Definition of alien 

(Entry 1 of 3)

: relating, belonging, or owing allegiance to another country or government

alien

noun

Legal Definition of alien (Entry 2 of 3)

: a foreign-born resident who has not been naturalized and is still a subject or citizen of a foreign country illegal aliens an alien lawfully admitted to the United States for permanent residenceU.S. Code

Legal Definition of alien (Entry 3 of 3)

History and Etymology for alien

Adjective

Latin alienus not one's own, foreign

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More from Merriam-Webster on alien

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for alien

Spanish Central: Translation of alien

Nglish: Translation of alien for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of alien for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about alien

Comments on alien

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