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

Brock, an investigative journalist, comes into contact with an alien symbiote, Venom, that imbues him with superhuman abilities. Claudia Harmata, PEOPLE.com, "Michelle Williams Craves More of Her She-Venom Character in Sequel: 'I Hope I Get Equal Time'," 8 Aug. 2019 The Mackenzie-Carlson house is a real house, located in Malibu rather than Monterey, and this black, shiny, alien-spaceship of an island is its real kitchen. Alexandra Lange, Curbed, "The Big Little Lie of the TV kitchen island," 1 Aug. 2019 On top of this weirdly alien mating behavior, anglerfish also have a bioluminescent lure protruding from their heads. Daisy Hernandez, Popular Mechanics, "Why the Anglerfish Continues To Haunt Our Dreams," 30 July 2019 There are also surviving members of an alien civilization living there, who created the protomolecule that featured so heavily in the story arc of season three in particular. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "We’ve got our first peek at S4 of The Expanse and an airdate: December 13," 23 July 2019 Niko and her team’s quest begins with exploring the genesis of an alien artifact. Mark Dawidziak, cleveland.com, "Final season of ‘Orange is the New Black’ among top viewing choices," 20 July 2019 As more spacecraft reach the far side, planetary scientists able to closely study this alien realm, possibly revealing the history of the moon’s formation along with our own planet’s past. Jay Bennett, Smithsonian, "Interactive Map Shows All 21 Successful Moon Landings," 19 July 2019 Their immense size, alien features, and elusive behavior have earned the giant squid a legendary status among marine life. nola.com, "Watch: Rare video of giant squid in Gulf of Mexico’s ‘midnight zone’," 23 June 2019 With many of us scrambling to find hairstyles that will standout at Essence Festival next month, the alien-fighting novice’s space buns and victory rolls provide a cosmic dose of inspiration. Jennifer Ford, Essence, "Tessa Thompson's Hairstyles Are Out Of This World," 20 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

And those aliens were not exactly portrayed by the world’s biggest movie stars—certainly no one on the level of a Robert Downey Jr. or a Scarlett Johansson. Adam Epstein, Quartzy, "“Avengers: Endgame” is now the biggest movie ever. But that’s still not as impressive as what “Avatar” did," 22 July 2019 What would happen if a crowd of people stormed the gates of Area 51 looking for aliens, and all of them ran really fast with their arms outstretched behind them? Jacey Fortin, BostonGlobe.com, "‘Storm Area 51’ Facebook group is a million strong, but it’s a joke — kind of," 15 July 2019 Siqui Sanchez/Getty Images What would happen if a crowd of people stormed the gates of Area 51 looking for aliens, and all of them ran really fast with their arms outstretched behind them? Jacey Fortin, New York Times, "Storm Area 51? It’s a Joke, but the Air Force Is Concerned," 15 July 2019 In short, the people searching for smart aliens are multiplying. Sarah Scoles, WIRED, "The WIRED Guide to Aliens," 5 June 2019 The Green Party congressional candidate who could prove to be a spoiler in Tuesday night’s special election in Ohio claims to be descended from aliens. Katelyn Caralle, Fox News, "Green Party spoiler candidate in Ohio special election claims to be descended from aliens," 9 Aug. 2018 When the creators of the film Pixels wanted to show aliens blasting a hole in the Great Wall of China, Sony executives worried that the scene might prevent the 2015 movie’s release in China, leaked studio emails show. John Fund, National Review, "American Movie Studios Are Wrong to Appease Chinese Censors," 28 July 2019 Law and Salazar-Quintero were arrested while allegedly transporting undocumented aliens north of the U.S.-Mexico border, according to court documents. Doug Stanglin, USA TODAY, "16 Marines arrested for alleged involvement in human smuggling, drug offenses," 25 July 2019 While aliens aren't taking up residence in the compound, what is going on there is just as interesting. Matt Blitz, Popular Mechanics, "The Real Story Behind the Myth of Area 51," 17 July 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

14 Aug 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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