alienate

verb
alien·​ate | \ˈā-lē-ə-ˌnāt, 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3 : to cause to be withdrawn or diverted alienate capital from its natural channels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 \ 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

Other governments express similar complaints toward Beijing, but Washington has alienated potential allies by raising import duties on steel, aluminum and autos from Europe, Canada, Mexico and Japan. Joe Mcdonald, chicagotribune.com, "Trade war begins: U.S. tariffs take effect as China announces retaliation," 6 July 2018 Other governments express similar complaints toward Beijing, but Washington has alienated potential allies by raising import duties on steel, aluminum and autos from Europe, Canada, Mexico and Japan. CBS News, "As U.S. tariffs take effect, China says it will retaliate," 6 July 2018 His increasingly authoritarian, nationalist and anti-Western bent is alienating foreign investors, which is hurting the Turkish lira. New York Times, BostonGlobe.com, "After winning new powers, Erdogan must now deliver," 25 June 2018 Neither is fan support, with the exception of the Marlins, who are trying to dig out from under years of fan-alienating dysfunction under former owner Jeffrey Loria. Greg Cote, miamiherald, "Flip the narrative on Miami as a sports town. Here's why we're great and getting better," 25 June 2018 For clarity, nations alienated by the president’s moves against the North Korean nuclear weapons program and Iran’s nuclear activities are highlighted in red. Rick Noack, Washington Post, "Within 3 months, Trump’s dealings with North Korea and Iran have antagonized: Russia, China, Germany, France, Japan, Britain, Austria, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Spain, Slovakia, Portugal, Finland, Ireland, South Korea […]," 25 May 2018 Collin, who was recently released from prison, returns to a city that looks and feels alienating since so much has changed during the time he was incarcerated—a sentiment made palpable by what ends up on screen. Diana Budds, Curbed, "How two movies portray Oakland’s rapid change," 29 Aug. 2018 Those embattled senators must choose between alienating their constituents, or trying to halt a conservative nominee who may ultimately prove unstoppable anyway because of the GOP's slim Senate majority. Gregg Re, Fox News, "Pelosi vows to 'avenge President Obama' in Supreme Court fight," 9 July 2018 The outstretched hand from a previously alienated and snobbish peer is an innovation of the current production, and meant to end the evening on a far more upbeat note than the original oh-beating-can-be-lovely exchange. Corby Kummer, The Atlantic, "How Do Carousel and My Fair Lady Fare in 2018?," 8 July 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

9 Dec 2018

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, 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- \
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 \
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-​ \ 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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