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

Legendary film designer William Cameron Menzies directed from a kid’s perspective in this tale of a boy who watches friends and parents taken over by an alien life form. John Monaghan, Detroit Free Press, "Sci-fi classics invade the DIA for film series tied to 'Star Wars' exhibit," 7 June 2018 But fans are pointing out that the titular Venom, identifiable by his sinister alien form, rows of sharp teeth and long tongue, is nowhere to be seen in the teaser visuals. Raisa Bruner, Time, "The First Venom Teaser with Tom Hardy Has Arrived and the Internet Is Confused," 8 Feb. 2018 There’s no need to panic, this isn’t the invasion of alien life-forms. Allyson Chiu, Washington Post, "Birth of baby octopus at the Virginia Aquarium viewed by more than 600,000," 8 Feb. 2018 Take Brother Consolmagno’s early work on meteorites, the chunks of alien rock and metal that hit Earth after a meteor burns through the atmosphere. Kyle Peterson, WSJ, "An Astronomer’s View of the Christmas Sky," 21 Dec. 2018 Myriad space pictures purport to show evidence of alien craft. Bobak Ferdowsi, Popular Mechanics, "What a Scientist Can Learn From AlienCon," 23 Oct. 2018 The primer is flecked with shimmery violet pigments that give skin a more multi-dimensional glow than an alien-like one. Devon Abelman, Allure, "Exclusive: Korean Makeup Brand VDL Is Launching in the U.S. With 3 Glass Skin–Inspired Primers," 31 July 2018 An alien invader also arrives on Earth by laser beam, and Howard, the scientist, and Howard's love interest (Lea Thompson) are tasked with defeating the alien. Charles Stockdale And John Harrington, USA TODAY, "The 24 most forgettable superheroes in movies," 5 July 2018 John Wick director Chad Stahelski and Ryan Condal, the creator of USA’s alien invasion show Colony, are teaming up to adapt sci-fi comic Analog. Borys Kit, The Hollywood Reporter, "'John Wick' Director, 'Colony' Creator Tackle Comic Book 'Analog' for Lionsgate (Exclusive)," 22 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Commemorative illustrations of her late dogs Floyd and Emu, miniaturized aliens on her fingers, and even an avocado on the back of her left arm. Christian Allaire, Vogue, "Miley Cyrus Proves Why Peekaboo Tattoos and a Dazzling Party Dress Are the Perfect Match," 14 Dec. 2018 Speaking of aliens, Emily and Timothy might not be from planet Earth either. De Elizabeth, Teen Vogue, "13 “American Horror Story: Apocalypse” Fan Theories That Might Predict What Is Ahead," 1 Nov. 2018 Aside from the nostalgia, the trailer also gives us a taste of her air force days, her time on Hala's (a Kree planet) military Starforce, and a looming threat from the Skrulls (shape-shifting aliens). Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "The First Captain Marvel Trailer Teases Brie Larson as Your Next Favorite Superhero," 18 Sep. 2018 There’s all kinds of conspiracy theories online about lots of different things, including from aliens to alligators in the toilet, things like that. Eric Johnson, Recode, "Your phone is not secretly spying on your conversations. It doesn’t need to.," 20 July 2018 You may be needed to help decode a message from intelligent aliens someday. Mike Wall, Space.com, "Decoding Alien Messages Could Be the Biggest Citizen-Science Project Ever," 26 May 2018 Martin's novella was set many centuries in the future, long after the collapse of the human race on Earth in the wake of an interstellar war with aliens. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Nightflyers has the bloody body count we expect from George R.R. Martin," 29 Nov. 2018 Nothing can shake their relationship...except for Jenna, who has just arrived, has a pink streak in her hair, and is apparently an alien. Anna Moeslein, Glamour, "Bachelor in Paradise Season 5, Episode 3 Recap: Finally, It's John's Time to Shine," 14 Aug. 2018 The Covenant are these aliens that have taken over ... Never mind. Recode Staff, Recode, "Full transcript: Louie Swisher and his mom do a VR experience and take listener questions," 10 July 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, Noun, and Verb

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

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Learn More about alien

Dictionary Entries near alien

alicyclic

Alid

alidade

alien

alienable

alienage

alienate

Statistics for alien

Last Updated

16 Jan 2019

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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