alien

adjective
\ ˈā-lē-ən How to pronounce alien (audio) , ˈāl-yən\

Definition of alien

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1a : belonging or relating to another person, place, or thing : strange an alien environment
b : relating, belonging, or owing allegiance to another country or government : foreign alien residents
c : exotic sense 1 alien plants
d : coming from another world : extraterrestrial alien beings an alien spaceship When it comes to knowing what alien life forms might be like, we don't have any idea.— Kate Shuster
2 : differing in nature or character typically to the point of incompatibility ideas alien to democracy

alien

noun

Definition of alien (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : a person of another family, race, or nation aliens seeking asylum in the U.S.
2 : a foreign-born resident who has not been naturalized and is still a subject or citizen of a foreign country broadly : a foreign-born citizen
3 : extraterrestrial a movie about an invasion of Earth by monstrous aliens
4 : exotic sense 1 Russian thistle, kudzu, and other aliens

alien

verb
aliened; aliening; aliens

Definition of alien (Entry 3 of 3)

transitive verb

2 : to transfer the title of (property)

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Other Words from alien

Adjective

alienly adverb
alienness \ ˈā-​lē-​ən-​nəs How to pronounce alienness (audio) , ˈāl-​yən-​nəs \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for alien

Synonyms: Adjective

foreign, nonnative

Synonyms: Verb

alienate, disaffect, disgruntle, estrange, sour

Antonyms: Adjective

domestic, native

Antonyms: Verb

reconcile

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Choose the Right Synonym for alien

Adjective

extrinsic, extraneous, foreign, alien mean external to a thing, its essential nature, or its original character. extrinsic applies to what is distinctly outside the thing in question or is not contained in or derived from its essential nature. sentimental value that is extrinsic to the house's market value extraneous applies to what is on or comes from the outside and may or may not be capable of becoming an essential part. arguments extraneous to the issue foreign applies to what is so different as to be rejected or repelled or to be incapable of becoming assimilated. techniques foreign to French cuisine alien is stronger than foreign in suggesting opposition, repugnance, or irreconcilability. a practice totally alien to her nature

Examples of alien in a Sentence

Adjective

new immigrants with customs alien to the community where they have settled it's completely alien to her nature to wish evil of anyone

Noun

aliens seeking asylum in the U.S. He claims that he was captured by space aliens.

Verb

such emotional cruelty will rapidly alien any friends you might possibly have left the couple plans to alien the adjoining house lot to their eldest son
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

The shoes are a defiantly alien take on the Cuban heel, mastermind by Marco Bakovic (who has also created impressive shoes for rising menswear duo Stefan Cooke, who are friends of Knowles and Arsenault). Vogue, "Charlotte Knowles’s Biting Take on Female Empowerment Will Close London Fashion Week," 16 Sep. 2019 Punker Otto tries to repossess a Chevy Malibu with something alien and atomic in the trunk. Los Angeles Times, "Movies on TV this week Sept. 15, 2019: ‘Alien,’ ‘Aliens’ and more," 13 Sep. 2019 That was a different type of gruelling experience: desolate, alien. The Economist, "The last of the great explorers," 6 Sep. 2019 The season 1 Roswell, New Mexico finale ended in tragedy when alien Max (Nathan Dean Parsons) died while resurrecting Liz’s sister Rosa (Amber Midthunder). Ruth Kinane, EW.com, "Roswell, New Mexico adds Grand Hotel actress Justina Adorno to cast in recurring role," 26 Aug. 2019 Among these magnificent and alien summits, we are humbled. Stanley Stewart, Condé Nast Traveler, "From Buenos Aires to the Chilean Coast: A Road Trip Across South America," 22 Aug. 2019 The alien Zim vanished years ago without a trace, but arch-nemesis Dib still obsesses over the possibility that Zim has somehow been hiding, waiting, and lurking. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "Invader Zim: Enter the Florpus," 16 Aug. 2019 This was something alien to English football, as virtually every team at the time; including Liverpool with Tommy Smith and Larry Lloyd; playing with two destroyers at the heart of defence. SI.com, "Bob Paisley: The Understated Tactician Who Conquered All of Europe With Liverpool," 5 Aug. 2019 Therefore, to keep you and me safe, one had first to inquire of an immigration lawyer whether any detained clients felt willing; if yes, one had to order up these persons by name and alien number. Colin Barrett, Harper's magazine, "“Just Keep Going North”," 5 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

An Indiana lineman and other UFO-sighters, beleaguered by earlier incidents, finally have documented contact with space aliens. Los Angeles Times, "Movies on TV this week Sept. 15, 2019: ‘Alien,’ ‘Aliens’ and more," 13 Sep. 2019 Hanna Knowles has a real-life Black Mirror tale for us all with this one: The call to raid an Air Force base for aliens was a joke, drawing on decades of conspiracy theories. Casey Newton, The Verge, "Google’s internal activism is spreading across tech companies," 14 Aug. 2019 The story of Asian-Americans is the story of being marooned between vertiginous aspiration and compensatory diligence, between being probationary Americans at best and perennial aliens at worst. Jiayang Fan, The New Yorker, "Constance Wu’s Hollywood Destiny," 16 Sep. 2019 Don't worry about getting everything combed just so or perfectly blown out; this elemental alien's look is all about the disheveled cool. Lauren Hubbard, Harper's BAZAAR, "18 Easy Halloween Costumes That Are All About The Hairstyle," 11 Sep. 2019 At the start of each match, a Snatcher, a large reddish-pink alien with a droopy stomach, swallows then deposits your body in a pod back in its hive. Christopher Byrd, Washington Post, "‘Gears 5’: The definition of a great action game," 6 Sep. 2019 This is particularly convenient since no arrangements exist to expel people declared aliens under the NRC from of country. Smitana Saikia, Quartz India, "Why is the Modi government so shrill about finding and deporting illegal immigrants?," 5 Sep. 2019 Beverly was a night owl and enjoyed listening to late-night talk-radio dedicated to sci-fi, aliens and related conspiracy theories. courant.com, "Beverly Hall," 4 Sep. 2019 Goleman said conspiracy theorists have pinned the blame on everything from satanic cults to aliens. oregonlive.com, "Mysterious Oregon cattle killings, mutilations alarm ranchers," 22 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The class was taught about everything from the myth that aliens somehow built the Egyptian pyramids to the theories that NASA's moon landings were faked. David Robson, CNN, "How to be a human lie detector of fake news, according to the latest science," 16 Sep. 2019 The objects, their controllers, and their motivations could utterly alien and unknowable. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "That Time the U.S. Navy Had a Close Encounter With a UFO," 18 Dec. 2017 Alien is a horror movie on a spaceship, to which Aliens adds space marines. Charlie Jane Anders, WIRED, "Alien: Covenant Proves ‘Franchise Fatigue’ Really Means ‘Boring Movies’," 19 May 2017 The answer, in any case, can only be the Giger alien itself, a contribution to the pantheon of modern design up there with the Coca-Cola logo and the Nike swoosh. A. O. Scott, New York Times, "Review: ‘Alien: Covenant’ Stays on Brand With Its Terror," 17 May 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'alien.' 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 alien

Adjective

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for alien

Adjective

Middle English, "foreign," borrowed from Anglo-French, borrowed from Latin aliēnus "not one's own, of others, foreign, strange," derivative of alius "other" (perhaps going back to *aliai-nos, from an adverbialized locative derivative *aliai "elsewhere") — more at else

Noun

Middle English, "foreigner, outsider," borrowed from Anglo-French, borrowed from Latin aliēnus "slave belonging to another person, foreigner, stranger," noun derivative of aliēnus, adjective, "not one's own, foreign" — more at alien entry 1

Verb

Middle English alienen "to transfer or surrender property rights, exclude," borrowed from Anglo-French aliener (Middle French, "to estrange, deprive of reason"), borrowed from Latin alienāre "to transfer (goods, property), lose possession of, render hostile" — more at alienate

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Learn More about alien

Dictionary Entries near alien

alicyclic

Alid

alidade

alien

alienable

alienage

alienate

Statistics for alien

Last Updated

9 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for alien

The first known use of alien was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for alien

alien

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of alien

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: not familiar or like other things you have known : different from what you are used to
: from another country
: too different from something to be acceptable or suitable

alien

noun

English Language Learners Definition of alien (Entry 2 of 2)

: a person who was born in a different country and is not a citizen of the country in which he or she now lives
: a creature that comes from somewhere other than the planet Earth

alien

adjective
\ ˈā-lē-ən How to pronounce alien (audio) , ˈāl-yən\

Kids Definition of alien

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : different from what is familiar Keeping their hands clean was an alien idea to the young boys.
2 : from another country and not a citizen of the country of residence : foreign an alien resident
3 : from somewhere other than the planet earth an alien spaceship

alien

noun

Kids Definition of alien (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a resident who was born elsewhere and is not a citizen of the country in which he or she now lives
2 : a being that comes from somewhere other than the planet earth

alien

adjective
\ ˈā-lē-ən, ˈāl-yən How to pronounce alien (audio) \

Legal Definition of alien

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: relating, belonging, or owing allegiance to another country or government

alien

noun

Legal Definition of alien (Entry 2 of 3)

: a foreign-born resident who has not been naturalized and is still a subject or citizen of a foreign country illegal aliens an alien lawfully admitted to the United States for permanent residenceU.S. Code

Legal Definition of alien (Entry 3 of 3)

History and Etymology for alien

Adjective

Latin alienus not one's own, foreign

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More from Merriam-Webster on alien

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for alien

Spanish Central: Translation of alien

Nglish: Translation of alien for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of alien for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about alien

Comments on alien

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