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3 : to cause to be withdrawn or diverted alienate capital from its natural channels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

But Gillibrand also was the first Senate Democrat to call for Minnesota Sen. Al Franken’s resignation and says that alienated donors and some voters. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Sen. Gillibrand says she’s ending 2020 presidential bid," 28 Aug. 2019 But Gillibrand also was the first Senate Democrat to call for Minnesota Sen. Al Franken’s resignation and says that alienated donors and some voters. Will Weissert, BostonGlobe.com, "Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand drops out of 2020 presidential race," 28 Aug. 2019 But Gillibrand also was the first Senate Democrat to call for Minnesota Sen. Al Franken's resignation and says that alienated donors and some voters. Will Weissert, Fortune, "Gillibrand Drops Out of 2020 Presidential Race," 28 Aug. 2019 The Democratic National Committee took a stance on climate change Thursday in San Francisco that could alienate young voters — a key group that Democrats need to be energized for the party to win back the White House. Taylor Kate Brown, SFChronicle.com, "Bay Briefing: Friday Night Lights in Paradise," 23 Aug. 2019 What’s left is a demand for ideological purity and unflinching support of the president that alienates a majority of the American electorate. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "The Incredible Shrinking GOP," 5 Aug. 2019 And there are also, as D'Anastasio reports, some who think that Riot has gone too far and risks alienating its core fan base of young white men. Won't somebody think of the young white men? Julie Muncy, WIRED, "2K Games Probed YouTuber Over Alleged Borderlands 3 Leaks," 9 Aug. 2019 Embracing public figures who helped cause those harms, without any gestures toward accountability, risks alienating those who have long supported climate action. Dave Levitan, The New Republic, "Reformed Climate Deniers Don’t Deserve Redemption," 8 Aug. 2019 Allies have been left in the middle, even as they are alienated by a Trump administration that insults them and courts their rivals. Adam Taylor, Washington Post, "U.S. allies risk becoming collateral damage in Iran fight," 12 July 2019

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

2 Sep 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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