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)

1a : a person who is not of a particular group or place aliens seeking asylum in the U.S. In this way it came to pass that those scattered linen-weavers—emigrants from the town into the country—were to the last regarded as aliens by their rustic neighbours …— George Eliot … she whom we had deemed so … pious, at last died an alien from the church …— Delia Salter Bacon
b : 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
2 : extraterrestrial a movie about an invasion of Earth by monstrous aliens
3 : 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 alien (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 To American sensibilities, of course, none of this is alien. New York Times, "Outrage About European Super League Is Muffled by Our Cheers," 18 Apr. 2021 And the atmosphere inside Indiana University's Assembly Hall was alien to the event known as March Madness. Michael Marot, Chron, "TSU opens NCAA Tournament with win over Mount St. Mary's," 18 Mar. 2021 The larger panorama is just as arresting, a desert scene that is breathtakingly alien while also feeling quite familiar. Kara Swisher New York Times, Star Tribune, "Why are Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos so interested in space?," 2 Mar. 2021 But their research also shows that mole-rats’ dialects operate in their own ways—ways that are alien to any human dialect. Rahul Rao, Popular Science, "Like humans, naked mole-rats have regional accents," 25 Feb. 2021 The Xbox Series X is a Kubrickian black monolith with a weird grate and an alien green light on top. Cecilia D'anastasio, Wired, "Remember When You Could See Inside a Gaming Console?," 27 Apr. 2021 Today, many dolphins might as well live on a different planet—a gravity-free world that’s typically blue-green in all directions, with no shadows or smells and a vast and alien soundscape. Philip Ball, The New Yorker, "The Challenges of Animal Translation," 27 Apr. 2021 But like crab and oysters, artichokes rest in a sort of alien realm where their distinct flavor and form defy neat categorization. Tribune News Service, cleveland, "The freedom, and serenity, in using prepared artichokes," 26 Apr. 2021 According to Hippke, if the Sun is already part of a larger alien network, existing telescopes should be able to spot relays pointing at us from around other nearby stars. Chron, "Astronomers propose using the Sun to send messages to other stars," 26 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The program does not have a requirement that the deceased be a U.S. citizen, noncitizen national or qualified alien. Washington Post, "A new FEMA program offers up to $9,000 to help with covid-19 funerals. Scammers see an opportunity.," 16 Apr. 2021 Oh, the crew also starts to wonder whether there’s an alien aboard, as if there wasn’t already enough to chew on. Lindsey Bahr, Detroit Free Press, "Young Adult thriller ‘Voyagers’ never quite takes off," 9 Apr. 2021 People need to be a U.S. citizen or a resident alien, not a dependent of another taxpayer, and have a valid Social Security number to be eligible for all three stimulus checks. Jessica Menton, USA TODAY, "Where's my stimulus check? Can I still qualify? Answers to your questions on COVID relief, IRS tax refunds and more," 26 Mar. 2021 To receive the payment, people need to have a valid Social Security number, not be a dependent of another taxpayer and be a U.S. citizen or a resident alien, according to the Internal Revenue Service. oregonlive, "Homeless? Here’s how to access your $1,400 stimulus check," 22 Mar. 2021 Two interstellar agents try to stop an alien disguised as a lingerie model from destroying the world. Ed Stockly, Los Angeles Times, "Movies on TV this week: James Dean in ‘Giant’ on TCM and more," 2 Apr. 2021 On top of that, casting Carl Lumbly, who portrayed both manipulated spy Marcus Dixon on Alias and lonely alien refugee Martian Manhunter on Justice League Unlimited, added another layer to an already powerful scene. Christian Holub, EW.com, "The Falcon and the Winter Soldier," 26 Mar. 2021 The applicant must be a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national, or qualified alien who incurred funeral expenses after January 20, 2020. Leada Gore | Lgore@al.com, al, "FEMA offers $7,000 reimbursements for COVID funeral expenses," 23 Mar. 2021 The clips feature an alien-like avatar with elven ears in a digitized, Mars-like universe. Liana Satenstein, Vogue, "Beepy Bella’s Latest T-Shirt Collaboration Is a Fantastical Treat to the Senses," 22 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Can alien smog lead us to extraterrestrial civilizations? Vincent Acovino, Wired, "Qomp Makes a Case for Shorter, Simpler Video Games," 2 Apr. 2021 Can alien smog lead us to extraterrestrial civilizations? Will Knight, Wired, "AI Could Enable 'Swarm Warfare' for Tomorrow's Fighter Jets," 22 Mar. 2021 Can alien smog lead us to extraterrestrial civilizations? Eric Niiler, Wired, "Offshore Energy Gets a Second Wind Under Biden," 11 Mar. 2021 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

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 1a

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

12 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Alien.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/alien. Accessed 13 May. 2021.

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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

Comments on alien

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