Definition of alienate
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3 : to cause to be withdrawn or diverted alienate capital from its natural channels
alienatorplay \-ˌnā-tər\ noun
Recent Examples of alienate from the Web
At the same time, unlike Kasich, she hasn't bucked Trump and risked alienating his supporters.
National security experts have warned that the proposal alienated moderate Muslims and turned off allies whom the U.S. relies on in the fight against extremist groups.
People are almost comically alienated from their instincts.
They are alienated by the shape of a new political narrative.
The suits would alienate important trading partners such as Canada and EU countries whose citizens have invested in Cuba.
Some avoid politics for fear of alienating some portion of their audience.
The president declined to back the NATO alliance and alienated his fellow G-7 members on everything from Russia to climate change.
Trump’s moves have alienated allies who game out how to one-up the president.
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.
Synonym Discussion of alienate
ALIENATE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of alienate for English Language Learners
: 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 Defined for Kids
Definition of alienate for Students
: 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.
Medical Definition of alienate
: to make unfriendly, hostile, or indifferent where attachment formerly existed
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 shares — Strickland v. Rahaim, 549 So. 2d 58 (1989) — compare devise
alienation\ˌā-lē-ə-ˈnā-shən, ˌāl-yə-\ play noun
Origin and Etymology of alienate
Latin alienare, from alienus not one's own
Seen and Heard
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