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3 : to cause to be withdrawn or diverted alienate capital from its natural channels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

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

Trump, however, has alienated America’s closest allies such as Canada and the European Union by assessing tariffs on steel and threatening to tax imported cars. Don Lee, latimes.com, "U.S. and China slap big tariffs on each other, escalating trade fight," 6 July 2018 Name calling and shaming will only alienate them further! Jennifer Wright, Harper's BAZAAR, "Why You Need to Say No to Civility," 27 June 2018 Saudi Arabia, Iran's chief rival for regional influence, is trying to modernize its deeply conservative society without alienating powerful religious forces there. Noga Tarnopolsky, latimes.com, "Palestinians look to Arab governments for help. But they have other concerns," 25 May 2018 Can cricket win new fans without alienating the old ones? Chris Stokel-walker, Bloomberg.com, "One of the World’s Most Popular Sports Races to Save Itself," 14 May 2018 But that’s not the same as being interested in some positive agenda of new or expanded entitlements that somehow benefit the needy without alienating the white working class. Ed Kilgore, Daily Intelligencer, "No, Democratic Populism Won’t Force GOP To Accept Big Government," 1 May 2018 Many people rent out their homes online without alienating everyone around them. Ronda Kaysen, New York Times, "Can I Stop My Neighbor From Running an Airbnb?," 21 Apr. 2018 This enables them to enjoy the public relations benefits of appealing to urban dwellers — who are important not only as consumers, but also as employees — without alienating too many people. James Briggs, USA TODAY, "Columnist: The real reason some retailers are limiting gun sales," 5 Mar. 2018 In 12 stories, the book explores the ugly legacy of war, the unease of the modern American spirit, and the ways alienated people seek connection in the most surprising places. Joe Fassler, The Atlantic, "What J.D. Salinger Understood About Missed Connections," 19 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.

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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

Latin alienare, from alienus not one's own

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Statistics for alienate

Last Updated

14 Oct 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

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Comments on alienate

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evasion of direct action or statement

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