alienate

verb
alien·​ate | \ ˈā-lē-ə-ˌnāt How to pronounce alienate (audio) , ˈāl-yə-\
alienated; alienating

Definition of alienate

transitive verb

1 : to cause to be estranged : to make unfriendly, hostile, or indifferent especially where attachment formerly existed He alienated most of his colleagues with his bad temper. Her position on this issue has alienated many former supporters.
2 : to convey or transfer (something, such as property or a right) usually by a specific act rather than the due course of law
3 : to cause to be withdrawn or diverted alienate capital from its natural channels

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Other Words from alienate

alienator \ -​ˌnā-​tər How to pronounce alienator (audio) \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for alienate

Synonyms

alien, disaffect, disgruntle, estrange, sour

Antonyms

reconcile

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Choose the Right Synonym for alienate

estrange, alienate, disaffect mean to cause one to break a bond of affection or loyalty. estrange implies the development of indifference or hostility with consequent separation or divorcement. his estranged wife alienate may or may not suggest separation but always implies loss of affection or interest. managed to alienate all his coworkers disaffect refers especially to those from whom loyalty is expected and stresses the effects (such as rebellion or discontent) of alienation without actual separation. troops disaffected by hunger

Examples of alienate in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

This draws a hurtful line between people who experience psychosis and neurotypical people, further alienating and stereotyping those dealing with mental health issues. Stefanie Lyn Kaufman As Told To Korin Miller, SELF, "This Is What It's Really Like to Experience Psychosis," 23 Aug. 2018 Some argue that Democrats shouldn’t bend over backwards to win over Trump voters who feel alienated by the Democratic Party, and should instead focus on touting their policies' impact on people. Emily Guskin, Washington Post, "A third of Maryland Democrats don’t even want to bother appealing to Trump voters," 22 June 2018 Hence there's a real danger that a war against fake news could be seen as a war on conservative media—alienating many conservative Facebook users in the process. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "Op-ed: Alex Jones is a crackpot—but banning him from Facebook might be a bad idea [Updated]," 6 Aug. 2018 Lengthy, multilayered hiring processes leave vacancies open far longer than necessary and alienate job candidates. Peter Cappelli, WSJ, "The Biggest Mistakes Companies Make With Hiring," 21 Feb. 2019 Much more needs to be done, Natan Sharansky acknowledges, if Jews in Israel are going to avoid permanently alienating their overseas brethren, particularly in America, over religious, political and philosophical differences. New York Times, "From Jewish Saint, to Israeli Politician, to Diaspora’s Ally," 29 June 2018 In the runup to Sunday night’s ceremony on ABC, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has weathered a string of controversies that have alienated everyone from the Screen Actors Guild to makeup artists to Allison Janney. ... Joe Flint, WSJ, "Can Anything Go Right for the 2019 Oscars?," 19 Feb. 2019 The eldest of Victoria, Princess Royal's children, Wilhelm was considered brash and impulsive, traits that alienated many and played a significant role in the start of the war. Lauren Hubbard, Town & Country, "Queen Victoria's Descendants Still Reign Over Europe," 17 Feb. 2019 Shapiro blames Obama for adopting a lecturing tone that alienated a critical mass of Americans. Ezra Klein, Vox, "Ben Shapiro’s revealing explanation for Donald Trump’s rise: it’s all Obama’s fault," 7 Sep. 2018

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

circa 1509, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for alienate

see alien entry 1

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Statistics for alienate

Last Updated

13 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for alienate

The first known use of alienate was circa 1509

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More Definitions for alienate

alienate

verb

English Language Learners Definition of alienate

: to make (someone) unfriendly : to cause (someone) to stop being friendly, helpful, etc., towards you
: to cause (someone) to feel that she or he no longer belongs in a particular group, society, etc.

alienate

verb
alien·​ate | \ ˈā-lē-ə-ˌnāt How to pronounce alienate (audio) , ˈāl-yə-\
alienated; alienating

Kids Definition of alienate

: to cause (a person who used to be friendly or loyal) to become unfriendly or disloyal She alienated most of her friends with her bad temper.

alienate

transitive verb
alien·​ate | \ ˈā-lē-ə-ˌnāt, ˈāl-yə- How to pronounce alienate (audio) \
alienated; alienating

Medical Definition of alienate

: to make unfriendly, hostile, or indifferent where attachment formerly existed

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alienate

transitive verb
alien·​ate | \ ˈā-lē-ə-ˌnāt How to pronounce alienate (audio) \
alienated; alienating

Legal Definition of alienate

: to give away or sell (property or a property right) to another will not sell, transfer, assign, hypothecate or otherwise alienate any of his voting sharesStrickland v. Rahaim, 549 So. 2d 58 (1989) — compare devise

Other Words from alienate

alienation \ ˌā-​lē-​ə-​ˈnā-​shən, ˌāl-​yə-​ How to pronounce alienation (audio) \ noun

History and Etymology for alienate

Latin alienare, from alienus not one's own

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More from Merriam-Webster on alienate

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with alienate

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for alienate

Spanish Central: Translation of alienate

Nglish: Translation of alienate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of alienate for Arabic Speakers

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