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

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

Video: Lincoln County commissioners have approved permits for two separate alien-themed festivals in Nevada for later this year. Fox News, "'Storm Area 51' alien-themed events in Nevada get final approval from county," 4 Sep. 2019 And with it is a growing rejection of the country to which most people in Hong Kong are bound by ethnicity but that many now shun as an alien power. Andrew Higgins, New York Times, "Hong Kong Was Once Passionate About China. Now, It’s Indifferent or Contemptuous.," 3 Sep. 2019 There's also Air Space -- an alien-themed inflatable play area and maze that's out of this world. Anne Nickoloff, cleveland.com, "7 things to do on Labor Day in Cleveland," 2 Sep. 2019 For them and for others, the contours of this history may be too familiar for the show to inspire an emotion as shocking—or as alien—as terror. Nina Li Coomes, The Atlantic, "The Uneven Historical Horror of The Terror: Infamy," 2 Sep. 2019 The film follows Pitt’s Roy McBride, an astronaut searching for his dad (Tommy Lee Jones), who went missing 20 years ago while on an interplanetary excursion searching for alien life on Neptune. Rachel Yang, EW.com, "First Ad Astra reviews say Brad Pitt shines in thoughtful, slightly familiar movie," 29 Aug. 2019 There's also Air Space -- an alien-themed inflatable play area and maze that's out of this world. Joey Morona, cleveland.com, "Ethiopian Cultural Garden dedication and 10 more things to do in Cleveland this weekend," 24 Aug. 2019 Earth—and transformed them into something alien astronomers light-years away would see. Eva Frederick, Science | AAAS, "Top stories: manta ray ‘friendships,’ preventing suicide, and a hidden hotbed of Zika," 23 Aug. 2019 Finally, alien autopsies, UFOs in hangars and other off-the-books government research would be exposed. Los Angeles Times, "Storming Area 51 started as a joke. But it’s a mystery as to how many will show up," 22 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

At the start of each match, a Snatcher, a large reddish-pink alien with a droopy stomach, swallows then deposits your body in a pod back in its hive. Christopher Byrd, Washington Post, "‘Gears 5’: The definition of a great action game," 6 Sep. 2019 This is particularly convenient since no arrangements exist to expel people declared aliens under the NRC from of country. Smitana Saikia, Quartz India, "Why is the Modi government so shrill about finding and deporting illegal immigrants?," 5 Sep. 2019 Beverly was a night owl and enjoyed listening to late-night talk-radio dedicated to sci-fi, aliens and related conspiracy theories. courant.com, "Beverly Hall," 4 Sep. 2019 Goleman said conspiracy theorists have pinned the blame on everything from satanic cults to aliens. oregonlive.com, "Mysterious Oregon cattle killings, mutilations alarm ranchers," 22 Aug. 2019 Beetlejuice mullet in How to Talk to Girls at Parties (2018) YouTube screengrab Kidman plays a rockstar alien in this adaptation of the Neil Gaiman story of the same name. Sangeeta Singh-kurtz, Quartzy, "A brief history of Nicole Kidman’s iconic wigs," 22 Aug. 2019 Lithgow, Kristen Johnston, French Stewart and Joseph Gordon-Levitt played four aliens on a mission to study Earth and its inhabitants while posing as the Solomon family. Mark Dawidziak, cleveland.com, "10 best scripted TV shows set in Ohio," 16 Aug. 2019 As a result, Missy Elliott, Mega Man costumes, and flying space aliens can be mentioned in the same sensible sentence. Brian Josephs, Billboard, "Every Missy Elliott Music Video, Ranked," 14 Aug. 2019 But this alien has already landed, and according to Ayres, the more realistic goal is to try to keep out the next Spotted Lanternfly. Claire Marie Porter, WIRED, "This Voracious, Unstoppable Bug Is Killing Off Vineyards," 2 Aug. 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

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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Dictionary Entries near alien

alicyclic

Alid

alidade

alien

alienable

alienage

alienate

Statistics for alien

Last Updated

17 Sep 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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