alien

adjective
\ ˈā-lē-ən How to pronounce alien (audio) , ˈāl-yən \

Essential Meaning of alien

1 : not familiar or like other things you have known : different from what you are used to She felt lost in an alien [=strange] culture when she moved to the city. an alien environment Honesty seems to be an alien concept in that family. [=people in that family are not honest]
2 : from another country : foreign alien residents
3 : too different from something to be acceptable or suitable

Full 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)

1a : a person who is not of a particular group or place aliens seeking asylum in the U.S. In this way it came to pass that those scattered linen-weavers—emigrants from the town into the country—were to the last regarded as aliens by their rustic neighbours …— George Eliot … she whom we had deemed so … pious, at last died an alien from the church …— Delia Salter Bacon
b : 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
2 : extraterrestrial a movie about an invasion of Earth by monstrous aliens
3 : 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 \ ˈā-​lē-​ən-​nəs How to pronounce alien (audio) , ˈāl-​yən-​nəs \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for alien

Synonyms: Adjective

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Verb

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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 The setup involves an alien species invading Earth and threatening humanity's very existence, but the aliens are the least interesting part. Ew Staff, EW.com, 13 Sep. 2021 After all, Venom is an alien symbiote who wants to eat brains while living in Eddie's body. Joey Nolfi, EW.com, 30 Sep. 2021 An alien registration number is also needed for people who are not U.S. citizens. Megan Rodriguez, San Antonio Express-News, 30 Sep. 2021 The same could be said of paleontology, particularly the paleontology of life before bones and shells, or the geology of Earth under conditions distant and alien. Jennifer Frazer, Scientific American, 24 Sep. 2021 Pufferfish revealed the first tips to her identity in an alien-abduction-themed package. Erin Jensen, USA TODAY, 23 Sep. 2021 Often, her fictional climes are temperate, her fruits and vegetables delectable, and her alien inhabitants from all over the place. Jason Kehe, Wired, 16 Sep. 2021 The family sci-fi adventure film followed 12-year-old David Freeman (Joey Cramer), who goes unconscious after falling down in the woods, only to get abducted by an alien spaceship that transports him from 1978 to 1986. Selome Hailu, Variety, 15 Sep. 2021 This is utterly foreign and alien to Afghan culture. Masoud Popalzai And Celine Alkhaldi, CNN, 13 Sep. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun In the mid-1980s one of my favorite clothing items was a pink Iron Maiden sweatshirt that had a skinless alien on it, in some noirish setting. Washington Post, 7 Oct. 2021 Nimoy played the ultra-logical Spock, half-human, half-Vulcan — an alien caught between two worlds, never fully fitting in. Tim Greiving, Los Angeles Times, 7 Oct. 2021 Their dynamic is like others in Hollywood films — insofar as Hardy plays Eddie as the comedic straight man to Venom's more weird and wild alien — while still being very unique. Joey Nolfi, EW.com, 30 Sep. 2021 Users suit up as agents, swap sunglasses for a VR headset, and embark on alien-fighting free-roam adventure. Charlie Fink, Forbes, 24 Sep. 2021 The overall arrangement recalls a cityscape, sleek and alien at once. Osman Can Yerebakan, Curbed, 21 Sep. 2021 After finishing your base, grab some green, red, and black face paints, and begin your transformation into an alien. Sara Miranda, Allure, 21 Sep. 2021 The belief that non-European cultures were fixed in an alien, changeless moral universe also licensed further violence toward them. Fara Dabhoiwala, The New York Review of Books, 1 July 2021 The ability not to just to tell a story but to hold an audience in the palm of your hand. Jeon Jong-seo, acting with the ferocious stillness of a feral kid, plays Mona Lisa as a kind of spiritual alien. Owen Gleiberman, Variety, 5 Sep. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Neanderthal to alien, and yet strangely well-suited for the modern era. Nick Remsen, CNN, 30 Sep. 2021 These stars and related systems should be priority one for current and future efforts to seek out exoplanets that may bear not only life but perhaps even alien technological civilizations, some astronomers say. Tess Joosse, Scientific American, 1 July 2021 Can alien smog lead us to extraterrestrial civilizations? Whitson Gordon, Wired, 8 Apr. 2021 Can alien smog lead us to extraterrestrial civilizations? Whitson Gordon, Wired, 8 Apr. 2021 Can alien smog lead us to extraterrestrial civilizations? Whitson Gordon, Wired, 8 Apr. 2021 Can alien smog lead us to extraterrestrial civilizations? Whitson Gordon, Wired, 8 Apr. 2021 Can alien smog lead us to extraterrestrial civilizations? Whitson Gordon, Wired, 8 Apr. 2021 Can alien smog lead us to extraterrestrial civilizations? Whitson Gordon, Wired, 8 Apr. 2021

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 1a

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for alien

Adjective

Middle English, "foreign," borrowed from Anglo-French, borrowed from Latin aliēnus "not one's own, of others, foreign, strange," derivative of alius "other" (perhaps going back to *aliai-nos, from an adverbialized locative derivative *aliai "elsewhere") — more at else

Noun

Middle English, "foreigner, outsider," borrowed from Anglo-French, borrowed from Latin aliēnus "slave belonging to another person, foreigner, stranger," noun derivative of aliēnus, adjective, "not one's own, foreign" — more at alien entry 1

Verb

Middle English alienen "to transfer or surrender property rights, exclude," borrowed from Anglo-French aliener (Middle French, "to estrange, deprive of reason"), borrowed from Latin alienāre "to transfer (goods, property), lose possession of, render hostile" — more at alienate

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Time Traveler for alien

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near alien

alidade

alien

alienable

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Statistics for alien

Last Updated

15 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Alien.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/alien. Accessed 24 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for alien

alien

adjective
\ ˈā-lē-ən How to pronounce alien (audio) , 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 How to pronounce alien (audio) \

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

alien

transitive verb

Legal Definition of alien (Entry 3 of 3)

History and Etymology for alien

Adjective

Latin alienus not one's own, foreign

More from Merriam-Webster on alien

Nglish: Translation of alien for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of alien for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about alien

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