alien

adjective
\ ˈā-lē-ən How to pronounce alien (audio) , 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 \ ˈā-​lē-​ən-​nəs How to pronounce alienness (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 While speaking to fashion designer Rick Owens for Interview, Cyrus shared a detailed story of her alien encounter. Emily Tannenbaum, Glamour, "So Miley Cyrus and Demi Lovato Talked About Their Alien Encounters This Week…," 21 Oct. 2020 Steve McQueen and Aneta Corseaut headlined the film classic warning everyone to stay out of the path of this alien goo-like substance that eats everyone in its path. Sonia Ramirez, Chron, "Catch the 1958 classic 'The Blob' at Houston's 1940 Air Terminal Museum drive-in," 21 Oct. 2020 And while the debate over whether extraterrestrials exist IRL is still up for debate, hearing your fave celebs recount their alien adventures and extraterrestrial encounters is probably the greatest thing EVER. Seventeen.com Editors, Seventeen, "10 Celebs Who Totally Believe in Aliens," 19 Oct. 2020 The film follows a group of scientists in San Francisco who realize that humans are being destroyed and replaced by emotionless alien copies, a silent attack carried out with eerie placidity. David Sims, The Atlantic, "Horror Movies Are for Everyone," 19 Oct. 2020 The child hadn’t believed that the alien lands were his land. Alex Ross, The New Yorker, "Jennifer Walshe’s Sublime Chaos," 19 Oct. 2020 The diverse characters and alien landscapes were gorgeously designed. Cecilia D'anastasio, Wired, "Amazon Wants to ‘Win at Games.’ So Why Hasn’t It?," 7 Oct. 2020 For the rest of the war, Marian and the 45th Evacuation Hospital pushed through France and Belgium, past hedgerows that gave the landscape an alien appearance to the Pennsylvania girl. Washington Post, "Memories of World War II from a U.S. Army nurse who served in Europe," 7 Oct. 2020 That film, and countless others, reflect how the prospect of alien visitors remains alternately thrilling and terrifying as conjured through the prism of science fiction. Brian Lowry, CNN, "'The Phenomenon' updates the UFO debate through new Pentagon disclosures," 6 Oct. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun In the holiday special, the Doctor is locked away in a high-security alien prison. Clark Collis, EW.com, "Doctor Who gives sneak peek at holiday special during New York Comic-Con panel," 8 Oct. 2020 Details of what Cooper claimed to have read in the classified documents, including the secret alien outreach that Cooper asserted started with the Eisenhower administration, were sprinkled throughout the book. AZCentral.com, "How William Cooper and his book ‘Behold a Pale Horse’ planted seeds of QAnon conspiracy theory," 1 Oct. 2020 In 2020, the 104-year-old Daniel, one of Ms. Smith’s fictional characters, recalls being interned as an enemy alien on the Isle of Man during World War II alongside the two artists. Peter Saenger, WSJ, "Novelist Ali Smith Finds Art for All Seasons," 25 Sep. 2020 The hedgehog is supposedly an alien from a planet called Popinpobopia. Cody Delistraty, WSJ, "The 11 Best Books of Fall," 23 Sep. 2020 Tara is some sort of reptilian alien who can burst into flame, which explains much of the title. Tribune News Service, cleveland, "Some interesting graphic novels, both serious and silly: Captain Comics," 10 Sep. 2020 Watching a Spielberg movie about a homesick alien while sitting in my Jeep Cherokee reminded me of that. Frank Pallotta For Cnn Business Perspectives, CNN, "I spent $40 to watch 'E.T.' at a drive-in. It was the best money I spent all summer," 30 Aug. 2020 Compassionately observing the alien through a giant pane of thick glass, Klimova might remind us of, say, Amy Adams learning to speak with aliens in Arrival. John Defore, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Sputnik': Film Review," 14 Aug. 2020 Mission accomplished for director Jonathan Glazer, whose film seeks to focus on an alien’s perspective of the human world. Troy L. Smith, cleveland, "40 greatest film scores of all time," 6 Sep. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb In September 2018, dust storms were spotted on Titan for the first time ever, raising the prospect the storms could be a precursor to alien life on the celestial body. Chris Ciaccia, Fox News, "Coronavirus pandemic pushes back NASA's search for life on Saturn's moon," 27 Sep. 2020 Dust storms were spotted on the celestial satellite in September 2018, which raised the prospect the storms could be a precursor to alien life on the celestial body. Fox News, "Saturn's moon, Titan, which could support life, moving away from ringed planet faster than previously believed," 10 June 2020 The class was taught about everything from the myth that aliens somehow built the Egyptian pyramids to the theories that NASA's moon landings were faked. David Robson, CNN, "How to be a human lie detector of fake news, according to the latest science," 16 Sep. 2019 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, "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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Statistics for alien

Last Updated

26 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Alien.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/alien. Accessed 26 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for alien

alien

adjective
How to pronounce alien (audio)

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 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

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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