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 The imposters trick unsuspecting alien races in the Delta Quadrant -- where the Federation and Starfleet don’t exist -- to pay for membership into their fake Federation before jetting off with the loot and leaving false promises in their wake. Phil Pirrello, The Hollywood Reporter, "The Forgotten 'Star Trek: Voyager' Episode Worth Revisiting," 17 Apr. 2020 Players attempt to shepherd their alien race through the dangers of politics and warfare to claim the galactic throne. Anne Nickoloff, cleveland, "What to play during coronavirus isolation: Cleveland board game experts offer recommendations," 3 Apr. 2020 The Eternals, created by the late comic book legend Jack Kirby, are an advanced alien race with the power of apparently being Marvel Studios’ next big thing. Washington Post, "Your guide to the superhero movies of 2020, from ‘Birds of Prey’ to ‘Wonder Woman 1984’," 14 Jan. 2020 The Eternals are an immortal alien race imbued with godlike powers trying to protect humanity from the equally powerful Deviants. Adam Epstein, Quartz, "All the movies and TV shows you need to know about in 2020," 31 Dec. 2019 An alien race called the Thermians model their entire society on the principles of a fictional Galaxy Quest TV show, building real, functional versions of the spaceship and much of the technology from the series. Ars Technica, "Never Surrender is a heartfelt tribute to sci-fi action comedy Galaxy Quest," 30 Nov. 2019 Today there is Maleficent, Angelina Jolie’s archvillain, back just in time for Halloween, her character’s steeply angled cheekbones and imposing crown of horns suggesting some demonic alien race. New York Times, "It’s Halloween. Here’s What’s Haunting the Runways.," 29 Oct. 2019 The Red Planet has played an outsized role in the human imagination ever since H.G Wells imagined it as home base to an alien race determined to conquer Earth. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Everything You Could Possibly Want to Know About Martian Moons," 3 Oct. 2019 His character Nog, who appeared for all seven seasons, was a member of the alien race Ferengi, and joined Starfleet after a recommendation from Captain Sisko. NBC News, "'Star Trek: Deep Space Nine' actor Aron Eisenberg dies at 50," 22 Sep. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun In this book, the apocalypse isn’t caused by a viral outbreak that turns everyone into zombies, nor by aliens arriving to invade and enslave the human race. Ritoban Mukherjee, Quartz, "Apocalyptic sci-fi is helping me cope with the Covid-19 crisis—yes, really," 8 Apr. 2020 When Sarah believes she’s being abducted by aliens, the movie unsettlingly takes her delusion at face value. Natalia Winkelman, New York Times, "‘Horse Girl’ Review: Facing an Emotionally Taxing World," 6 Feb. 2020 Although the plot extends far past that point — including Billy’s abductions by aliens from the planet Tralfamadore — the book is primarily known for its portrayal of the bombing of Dresden by the Allies while Billy is held prisoner in the city. Graeme Mcmillan, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Slaughterhouse-Five' Comic Launching in September," 8 Jan. 2020 The premiere episode of season 2 found Peters playing Kit, a man wrongfully accused of murder…who also may have been visited by aliens. Tim Stack, EW.com, "American Horror Story star Evan Peters picks his 5 favorite episodes of all time," 23 Oct. 2019 The Navy is pointedly not saying the objects are flying saucers or otherwise controlled by aliens. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "The Navy Says Those UFO Videos Are Real," 16 Sep. 2019 In addition, his apparent enthusiasm for astrology and seeming fondness for such ideas as astral projection and the possibility of abduction by aliens also led his scientific peers to look at him askance. Martin Weil, Washington Post, "Kary Mullis, unconventional Nobel laureate who unlocked DNA research, dies at 74," 12 Aug. 2019 Despite the high stakes, scientists have already sent out signals intended to be picked up by aliens. Sigal Samuel, Vox, "If aliens call, what should we do? Scientists want your opinion.," 6 July 2019 The story follows the adventures of Billy Pilgrim, an American soldier who survives the bombing of Dresden in 1945, only to be abducted by aliens from the planet Tralfamadore and exhibited in their zoo. Amanda Foreman, WSJ, "Fantasies of Alien Life," 7 Mar. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb 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

21 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Alien.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/alien. Accessed 2 Jun. 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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Comments on alien

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