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

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Verb

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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 But Mrs Merkel is sceptical of minority governments, which are alien to modern Germany’s political tradition. The Economist, "Germany’s Social Democrats elect left-wing leaders," 30 Nov. 2019 In the words that the poem isolates, calling forth their singular entities and phenomena, the world becomes at once familiar and alien to us, at once sensuous and abstract, comprehensible and incomprehensible at the same time. Karl Ove Knausgaard, The New Yorker, "The Slowness of Literature and the Shadow of Knowledge," 6 Nov. 2019 In an ideal cosmos, though, its neighbors will be even more alien than Snoop Dogg. Wired, "Massive, AI-Powered Robots Are 3D-Printing Entire Rockets," 14 Oct. 2019 Prior to 2015, the Flores settlement applied only to unaccompanied alien children. CBS News, "Transcript: Todd Owen talks with Michael Morell on "Intelligence Matters"," 18 Sep. 2019 There are important differences, of course, the relative compactness of the American timeline prominent among them, but none of the above is entirely alien to the American experience. Kevin D. Williamson, National Review, "Is Patriotism Possible?," 21 Aug. 2019 The Chainsmokers opted to have the guest vocals represented by a CGI alien head singing along on the big screens. Piet Levy, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Dirt bikes and pyro can't save the Chainsmokers' mindless Milwaukee show, but 5 Seconds of Summer a blast," 13 Nov. 2019 The attitudes Bernard and Mrs. Sternberger expressed seem alien when compared with the attitudes expressed by today’s upper class and the often-aggrieved lower class. Andre M. Archie, National Review, "The Power of Bourgeois Norms," 7 Nov. 2019 Nor are those two concepts, baking and affection, entirely alien to men and male communities. Henry Dawson, Bon Appétit, "I Didn't Know How to Tell My Guy Friends I Cared, So I Learned to Bake," 4 Oct. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun But pondering these obstacles raises another thought, not about aliens but what humanity has in common. The Economist, "How to talk to aliens," 28 Nov. 2019 Area 51 is a highly classified Air Force Facility rumored to be the government's hiding place for secrets about aliens and UFOs. Jordan Culver, USA TODAY, "'Storm our shelter': Oklahoma animal shelter uses Area 51 craze to its advantage," 21 July 2019 In the new novel, Bo is touring Zant, home of the murderous aliens who recently tried to eat her. Mary Ann Grossmann, Twin Cities, "Discussion of Teddy Roosevelt’s 1903 trip west is among this week’s literary events," 7 July 2019 Accordingly, the aliens aboard the March 29 flight were all subject to administratively final orders of removal. Jason Buch, San Antonio Express-News, "ICE deports Somali men who alleged abuse in Texas detention center," 2 Apr. 2018 Here are the things humans know about aliens: Nothing. Sarah Scoles, WIRED, "Jill Tarter Swears She’d Tell Us If She’d Seen an Alien," 25 July 2019 According to the Wikileaks dump, the Blink-182 guitarist and singer reportedly emailed Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager John Podesta in October 2016 about aliens. Maria Yagoda, PEOPLE.com, "11 Celebrities Who Believe in Aliens & Think You Should, Too," 12 June 2019 My youngest son asked all sorts of questions about aliens creating the buildings, kind of like Stonehenge. Blair Underwood, The Hollywood Reporter, "Blair Underwood's Machu Picchu Travel Diary: Magic and "Mysticism"," 7 June 2019 But before she was married, Linton was a working actress, appearing in films including Rules Don't Apply, a 2016 movie starring Lily Collins about the people who worked for Howard Hughes, and Scavengers, a sci-fi project about aliens. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Louise Linton Returns to Hollywood in a New Comedy About a Serial Killer," 18 Apr. 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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Time Traveler for alien

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for alien

Last Updated

4 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Alien.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/aliening. Accessed 14 December 2019.

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More Definitions for alien

alien

adjective
How to pronounce alien (audio)

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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