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 \ -​lē-​ən-​nəs How to pronounce alienness (audio) , -​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

While the company did port iTunes to Windows in 2003, which helped the nascent service and the iPod take off, this strategy is mostly alien to Apple. Christopher Mims, WSJ, "Apple’s Next Move: Be More Like Microsoft," 10 Jan. 2019 In 1962 Eero Saarinen revolutionized architecture with his TWA Flight Center, an avian—or maybe alien—shape looming over the the outskirts of John F. Kennedy (then called Idlewild) airport. Steff Yotka, Vogue, "Louis Vuitton Wants to Turn Your Bag Into a TV," 9 May 2019 The original Barbie seemed to share Bild Lilli’s makeup and her alien proportions, which Handler was supposedly attracted to exactly for their dissimilitude to real human features, per the Hulu documentary Tiny Shoulders. Brennan Kilbane, Allure, "Barbie's 60th Birthday Wish Was to Be More Inclusive. Now What?," 2 May 2019 The Little Shop of Horrors follows Seymour Krelborn (Rick Moranis), his love interest, Audrey (Ellen Greene), and Seymour’s man-eating alien-plant, Audrey II. Marley Marius, Vogue, "The 5 Campiest Musicals Ever Made," 27 Apr. 2019 Fashion > Models All humans are part alien, according to Amanda Googe. Janelle Okwodu, Vogue, "How Amanda Googe Went from Modeling for Chanel to Making Surrealist Art," 16 Apr. 2019 The testing process, however, is a reminder of the alien environment in which these machines operate. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "Inside the Locked Rooms Where They Protect GPS," 22 Mar. 2019 In Cadwell Turnbull’s debut novel, Earth experiences first contact when an alien ship comes down to hover over the US Virgin Islands. Andrew Liptak, The Verge, "All the science fiction and fantasy books we’re looking forward to in 2019," 30 Dec. 2018 When the design was complete, the pedal resembled alien cartilage. Jason Pontin, WIRED, "3D Printing Is the Future of Factories (for Real This Time)," 11 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

There are no aliens in this story, which follows the life of a young man named Chen who watches as both of his parents are incinerated by a phenomenon known as ball lightning. Andrew Liptak, The Verge, "From the author of The Three-Body Problem," 15 Sep. 2018 The principals uniformly have strong voices, as does the excellent choir of aliens. Matthew J. Palm, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Jokes fly faster than warp factor 9 in 'Star Trek Abduction'," 1 June 2018 Initially Brawl Stars had a sci-fi style, with astronauts and aliens, which slowly morphed into more of a Western look to better fit the style of game. Andrew Webster, The Verge, "Supercell’s new game mixes Fortnite and Clash Royale, and it’s out soon," 14 Nov. 2018 Past videos have had the MUA transforming into an alien, a creepy doll, and an IRL puzzle. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "Makeup Artist Created a Halloween Look Inspired by "The Nun"," 25 Sep. 2018 Nothing's been announced yet, but the dominant theory is that season nine centers on aliens. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "American Horror Story Season 9: Everything We Know So Far," 3 Apr. 2019 In the first months, most of the calls were obvious hoaxes after someone suggested on Twitter that people call in to report space aliens. Colleen Long, The Seattle Times, "Trump immigrant crime hotline still faces hurdles, pushback," 5 Feb. 2019 In the distant future, aliens known as the Othersiders arrive with advanced technologies that lead to an economic downturn for human civilization. Andrew Liptak, The Verge, "The 13 best sci-fi books to check out on your new Kindle," 29 Dec. 2018 Science fiction novels depicted a lunar surface crowded with colonies, while scientific studies waded into humanity’s inevitable spacefaring future, characterized by lunar crop fields and encounters with aliens. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "When Pan Am Promised To Fly Us To the Moon," 28 Feb. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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, Noun, and Verb

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin alienus, from alius other

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Learn More about alien

Dictionary Entries near alien

alicyclic

Alid

alidade

alien

alienable

alienage

alienate

Statistics for alien

Last Updated

5 Jun 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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