alien·​able ˈāl-yə-nə-bəl How to pronounce alienable (audio)
: transferable to another's ownership
ˌāl-yə-nə-ˈbi-lə-tē How to pronounce alienable (audio)

Examples of alienable in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In the interpretation promoted by Pompeo, however, women’s rights or L.G.B.T. rights are somehow additional to basic human rights—ad-hoc rights, alienable rights. Masha Gessen, The New Yorker, 10 July 2019 And values and alienable rights in our Constitution. Fox News, 10 July 2018 That military service is alienable, through restrictions on membership necessary for our military to fulfill its purpose, automatically rules it out as a right. Philip H. Devoe, National Review, 3 Aug. 2017

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'alienable.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


probably borrowed from French aliénable, going back to Middle French, from aliener "to transfer (a property, right, etc.) to another's ownership" + -able -able — more at alien entry 3

First Known Use

1604, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of alienable was in 1604

Dictionary Entries Near alienable

Cite this Entry

“Alienable.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Dec. 2023.

Legal Definition


: that may be changed over to another's ownership
an alienable interest in property
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