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3 : to cause to be withdrawn or diverted alienate capital from its natural channels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

Lengthy, multilayered hiring processes leave vacancies open far longer than necessary and alienate job candidates. Peter Cappelli, WSJ, "The Biggest Mistakes Companies Make With Hiring," 21 Feb. 2019 Much more needs to be done, Natan Sharansky acknowledges, if Jews in Israel are going to avoid permanently alienating their overseas brethren, particularly in America, over religious, political and philosophical differences. New York Times, "From Jewish Saint, to Israeli Politician, to Diaspora’s Ally," 29 June 2018 In the runup to Sunday night’s ceremony on ABC, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has weathered a string of controversies that have alienated everyone from the Screen Actors Guild to makeup artists to Allison Janney. ... Joe Flint, WSJ, "Can Anything Go Right for the 2019 Oscars?," 19 Feb. 2019 The eldest of Victoria, Princess Royal's children, Wilhelm was considered brash and impulsive, traits that alienated many and played a significant role in the start of the war. Lauren Hubbard, Town & Country, "Queen Victoria's Descendants Still Reign Over Europe," 17 Feb. 2019 Shapiro blames Obama for adopting a lecturing tone that alienated a critical mass of Americans. Ezra Klein, Vox, "Ben Shapiro’s revealing explanation for Donald Trump’s rise: it’s all Obama’s fault," 7 Sep. 2018 That would be too bad. Because of the basic dynamics of partisan politics, the resistance is dominated by progressive types who are instinctively alienating to people with conservative worldviews. Matthew Yglesias, Vox, "There never were any “adults in the room”," 21 Dec. 2018 The trade agreement needed a retooling, but the Trump administration's bullying is alienating allies. Jon Talton, The Seattle Times, "Trump’s NAFTA facelift would mark an ugly ‘win’ for America," 28 Aug. 2018 Some people have been critical of the president going out and doing these rallies, talking about very controversial subjects, like immigration and trade, saying this is what is alienating these voters. Fox News, "Trump administration steps up sanctions on Iran, Russia," 12 Aug. 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

18 Mar 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 boil down or concentrate

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Original Meanings Quiz

  • rembrandt-painting-a-young-scholar-and-his-tutor
  • Which of the following is the earliest known sense of the word awe?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Dictionary Devil

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!