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3 : to cause to be withdrawn or diverted alienate capital from its natural channels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 \ ˈā-​lē-​ə-​ˌnā-​tər How to pronounce alienate (audio) , ˈāl-​yə-​ \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for alienate

Synonyms

Antonyms

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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 Notably, though, the Apple Watch works only with an iPhone, which can alienate a significant portion of potential study participants. Sam Volchenboum, STAT, "Building the perfect wearable for clinical trials," 13 Apr. 2021 And, miraculously, this narrative distance does not alienate our intimacy but emerges as a different form of knowing. James Wood, The New Yorker, "A Family at Odds Reveals a Nation in the Throes," 12 Apr. 2021 These ideological decisions are in effect business taxes that can diminish shareholder returns and alienate consumers. Daniel Grant, WSJ, "Investment Options for the Unwoke," 16 Apr. 2021 Becky Something is a talented but self-destructive musician who seems determined to alienate everyone around her -- even at the cost of her own band’s success. Ed Stockly, Los Angeles Times, "Movies on TV this week ‘Pulp Fiction’ on BBC America and IFC," 9 Apr. 2021 The difference between those two setups is a perfect microcosm of the difference between Made for Love the novel and its TV adaptation: Nutting’s book is simply stranger, riskier, and less afraid to be in bad taste or to alienate its reader. Philippa Snow, The New Republic, "Made for Love Puts a Marriage Under the Microscope," 8 Apr. 2021 The political question becomes: will wide-scale student loan cancellation (particularly up to $50,000) alienate potential voters in the mid-term and presidential elections? Zack Friedman, Forbes, "Student Loan Cancellation May Trigger This Political Firestorm," 7 Apr. 2021 But Stanley said any system that is exclusively digital would alienate individuals and communities without access to mobile devices or knowledge how to use them, such as senior and low-income people, or those with disabilities. Alaa Elassar, CNN, "ACLU warns 'a lot can go wrong' with digital vaccine passports," 3 Apr. 2021 The court rejected the NCAA’s argument that compensating athletes would alienate sports fans who prize students’ amateur status. BostonGlobe.com, "Supreme Court seems ready to back payments to student-athletes," 31 Mar. 2021

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for alienate

borrowed from Latin aliēnātus, past participle of aliēnāre "to transfer (goods, property) to another, lose possession of, render hostile, estrange," verbal derivative of aliēnus "not one's own, of others, foreign, strange" — more at alien entry 1

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Time Traveler for alienate

Time Traveler

The first known use of alienate was in the 15th century

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Statistics for alienate

Last Updated

5 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Alienate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/alienate. Accessed 12 May. 2021.

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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 alienate (audio) \ noun

History and Etymology for alienate

Latin alienare, from alienus not one's own

Comments on alienate

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