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

Antonyms: Adjective

domestic, native

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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

Desai also argued that homosexuality was not alien to Indian cultural traditions, making a reference to a transgender character in the Mahabharata, an Indian epic. NBC News, "Gay sex not an aberration, Indian judge says ahead of ruling on homosexuality ban," 12 July 2018 The interactions were apparently alien in both directions. Julia Ioffe, GQ, "The Real Story of Donald Trump Jr.," 21 June 2018 Everything about shaving was alien to me; the rituals, the implements and even the necessity. New York Times, "What My Father Gave Me," 16 June 2018 The paper states that ESA's Gaia spacecraft, which recently produced the largest map of the galaxy in history, could witness stars dimming due to the presence of alien megastructures. John Wenz, Popular Mechanics, "How a Star Mapping Satellite Could Find Alien Life," 26 Apr. 2018 McLaughlin said that Rajneesh’s insistence on exalting himself above all other living spiritual teachers was alien to any Indian religious practice. Win Mccormack, The New Republic, "Outside the Limits of the Human Imagination," 27 Mar. 2018 Now, Boyajian and more than 200 collaborators have analyzed data from the last 22 months and report in The Astrophysical Journal Letters that dust is responsible for the dip — and that alien megastructures definitely are not. National Geographic, "Mystery of 'Alien Megastructure' Star Has Been Cracked," 3 Jan. 2018 Most unaccompanied alien minors happen to be children (mostly teenagers) who came to the US without a parent or guardian. Dara Lind, Vox, "The Trump administration just admitted it doesn’t know how many kids are still separated from their parents," 5 July 2018 Almost everyone, including President Trump, agrees that separating alien children from their parents and housing them in detention centers was an untenable policy that needed to be changed. Jay Winik, WSJ, "Trump’s Critics Desecrate the Holocaust," 21 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Each day that the agency delays is a day that aliens who might otherwise be eligible for initial grants of DACA benefits are exposed to removal because of an unlawful agency action,’’ Bates wrote. Washington Post, BostonGlobe.com, "Trump administration must accept new DACA applicants, judge rules," 25 Apr. 2018 What’s the bottom line? Hunting aliens is an observational endeavor. NBC News, "What can a gorilla teach us about the search for space aliens?," 20 Apr. 2018 Of all people, Indians should know that the making of aliens and enemies is a dangerous game. The Economist, "From dusty villages to Delhi, Indians seek people to persecute," 5 July 2018 Set in a future, inhabited galaxy, humanity coexists along with thousands of aliens and artificial intelligences in a vast, interstellar diaspora. Andrew Liptak, The Verge, "12 fantastic science fiction and fantasy novels that you should check out this July," 1 July 2018 That may tempt adult audiences to see all of these kids as downward-gazing aliens with eyes fixed on phones, ears plugged with buds and no common language with their parents. Joe Morgenstern, WSJ, "‘Eighth Grade’ Review: The Agonies and Glories of Growing Up," 12 July 2018 Generally, absent extraordinary circumstances, ICE will not detain a pregnant alien during the third trimester of pregnancy. Jewel Wicker, Teen Vogue, "Pregnant Women Are Allegedly Being Denied Medical Care in Immigration Detention Centers," 10 July 2018 Mack, who has run the school on Monroe Road since 2000, pleaded guilty this week to a felony charge of concealing, harboring or shielding unlawful aliens. Ann Doss Helms, charlotteobserver, "Charlotte private school was a front for foreign athletes to dodge ICE, feds say," 6 July 2018 Lay was geared up in aliens headband and matching popcorn bucket shaped like a full-sized little green man. Dewayne Bevil, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Disney: Toy Story Land opens with lines, Lightyear lovers," 30 June 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

Adjective

Latin alienus not one's own, foreign

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Dictionary Entries near alien

alicyclic

Alid

alidade

alien

alienable

alienage

alienate

Statistics for alien

Last Updated

25 Sep 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)

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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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