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3 : to cause to be withdrawn or diverted alienate capital from its natural channels

Keep scrolling for more

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

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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

Always being the minority can feel alienating, but being able to break the glass ceiling and open up doors for other Black women makes it a positive and rewarding experience. Aimee Simeon, refinery29.com, "Brianna Mason On Her Historic Miss Tennessee Win: "Representation Is So Important"," 5 July 2019 This isn't Miami, though, where some of the worst ownership groups in baseball history have alienated potential fans. Joe Sheehan, SI.com, "Rays' Outrageous Montreal Plan Only Exists to Get New Stadiums Built—Again," 2 July 2019 This ideological stridency and triumphalist attitude can be powerful weapons against political opponents but are alienating—perhaps deliberately so—to moderates and conservatives. WSJ, "Notable & Quotable: The Elitism of ‘Woke’ Ideology," 21 June 2019 And some of the decisions that backfired most severely by alienating the Sunnis — such as disbanding the Iraqi military and pursuing aggressive de-Baathification — were rooted in an understandable need to appease Iraq’s majority Shia population. Hal Brands, National Review, "Lessons from the Iraq War," 20 June 2019 My main strategy is to go into the house and get to know all the houseguests on some sort of personal level and not alienate any members. Dalton Ross, EW.com, "Meet the cast of Big Brother season 21," 17 June 2019 Both the hospital and Fernald existed in an era where those with disabilities were treated as inferior beings who should be alienated from society. Ysabelle Kempe, BostonGlobe.com, "High school class uncovers identities of those in cemetery for disabled," 12 June 2019 However, these dolphins are few in number, are alienated from other dolphins, and their engagements with people aren’t always positive. Ephrat Livni, Quartz, "Our love of dolphins is not always good for them," 8 June 2019 At the same time, tying GitHub too closely to Azure risks alienating developers who work with rival cloud platforms from Google, Amazon, and others. Klint Finley, WIRED, "Microsoft’s GitHub Deal Is Its Latest Shift From Windows," 4 June 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.

See More

First Known Use of alienate

circa 1509, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for alienate

see alien entry 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about alienate

Statistics for alienate

Last Updated

8 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for alienate

The first known use of alienate was circa 1509

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Comments on alienate

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

WORD OF THE DAY

to form ideas or theories about something

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!