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 \ -​lē-​ən-​nəs How to pronounce alienness (audio) , -​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

Clint is known for holding what agents call UACs, or unaccompanied alien children — children who cross the border alone or with relatives who are not their parents. BostonGlobe.com, "Dirty, hungry, scared, and sick: inside Clint’s razor wire," 6 July 2019 In Theory Video: David Kaplan explores the best ways to search for alien life on distant planets. Quanta Magazine, "Scientists Debate Signatures of Alien Life," 2 Feb. 2016 The Ocean County Register also reports that Oga’s Cantina has begun stationing employeed around the exit area to make sure glassware that the cantina’s alien cocktails are served in don’t make their way out of the park—and onto eBay. Elizabeth Gulino, House Beautiful, "Visitors to Disney’s Star Wars: A Galaxy’s Edge Park Have Been Reselling Park Decor on eBay," 28 June 2019 In 1997, the Air Force released a report on the so-called ‘‘Roswell Incident,’’ suggesting the ‘‘alien bodies’’ that witnesses reported seeing in 1947 were actually life-sized dummies. BostonGlobe.com, "This day in history," 24 June 2019 His death shifted an already alien landscape and upended the lives of those who depended on him. Lizzie Johnson, SFChronicle.com, "‘He tried to make Paradise all its name implied’: Long after the Camp Fire, resident’s death opens wounds," 21 June 2019 But the narration can also be alien, frightening, with an implacable omniscience. Katy Waldman, The New Yorker, "In Mark Haddon’s “The Porpoise,” Storytelling Is an Instrument of Violence and Solace," 13 June 2019 The issue of human (and alien) migration also gets a tip of the fedora. Mike Scott, nola.com, "‘Men in Black: International’ movie review: The truth is … boring," 12 June 2019 His desire to listen didn’t feel alien, urgent, or irrational. Carl Elliott, The New York Review of Books, "Happiness on Demand?," 7 Feb. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The McHenry County Sheriff’s Office is ready to assist in your department’s effort to investigate, apprehend and detain aliens pursuant to statute. Elvia Malagón, chicagotribune.com, "New Illinois laws aimed at ICE are ‘a firewall against Trump attacks’ on immigrants, Pritzker says," 28 June 2019 Speaking at the National Atomic Testing Museum in 2017, Lieutenant Colonel Friend, by then retired, expressed skepticism, for practical reasons, that aliens from outer space had ever landed on Earth. Sam Roberts, New York Times, "Robert J. Friend, Tuskegee Pilot Who Led U.F.O. Project, Is Dead at 99," 26 June 2019 However, following the release of Captain Marvel in March, it was revealed that a young Fury lost his eyesight because of a scratch from a seemingly sweet but secretly dangerous alien called a Flerken, which looks exactly like a household cat. Colleen Cronin, PEOPLE.com, "Marvel's Samuel L. Jackson Outraged Over New Spider-Man: Far From Home Poster Error," 24 June 2019 That conventionality makes these people more rather than less like us, which is salutary for human beings politically regarded as aliens. Christopher Knight, latimes.com, "This artist’s portrait subjects: Fellow asylum seekers in the detention center," 22 June 2019 The movie, which is not considered a remake of the original, will premiere 25 years after the Looney Tunes and Michael Jordan teamed up to ward off aliens. Jenna West, SI.com, "LeBron, Bugs Bunny and More: Here's Everything We Know About 'Space Jam 2'," 20 June 2019 Thankfully, a few little green aliens find a claw (GET IT?) and are able to rescue the toys before they’re destroyed. Rachel Paige, refinery29.com, "Yep, You Need To Remember What Happened In Toy Story 3 To Watch Toy Story 4," 20 June 2019 The only thing slicker than those conniving aliens is Thompson’s glossy hair. Jennifer Ford, Essence, "Tessa Thompson's Hairstyles Are Out Of This World," 20 June 2019 Of course, others on social media weighed in with not-as-scientific explanations, including chem trails, aliens and unicorn farts. Mitchell Byars, The Denver Post, "Boulder possibly witness to rare helix cloud formation," 20 June 2019

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

17 Jul 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 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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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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