alien·​able | \ ˈāl-yə-nə-bəl How to pronounce alienable (audio) , ˈā-lē-ə-nə- \

Definition of alienable

: transferable to another's ownership

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Other Words from alienable

alienability \ ˌāl-​yə-​nə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē How to pronounce alienability (audio) , ˌā-​lē-​ə-​nə-​ \ noun

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, "Mike Pompeo’s Faith-Based Attempt to Narrowly Redefine Human Rights," 10 July 2019 And values and alienable rights in our Constitution. Fox News, "Sekulow: Kavanaugh will be a brilliant Supreme Court justice," 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, "Rights are Rights, and Military Service Isn’t One," 3 Aug. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'alienable.' 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 alienable

1604, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for alienable

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

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Time Traveler for alienable

Time Traveler

The first known use of alienable was in 1604

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Statistics for alienable

Cite this Entry

“Alienable.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 28 January 2020.

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More Definitions for alienable


alien·​able | \ ˈāl-yə-nə-bəl, ˈā-lē-ə- How to pronounce alienable (audio) \

Legal Definition of alienable

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

Other Words from alienable

alienability \ ˌāl-​yə-​nə-​ˈbil-​ə-​tē, ˌā-​lē-​ə-​ How to pronounce alienability (audio) \ noun

Comments on alienable

What made you want to look up alienable? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


showing steady, earnest care and effort

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