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)

1a : a person who is not of a particular group or place aliens seeking asylum in the U.S. In this way it came to pass that those scattered linen-weavers—emigrants from the town into the country—were to the last regarded as aliens by their rustic neighbours …— George Eliot … she whom we had deemed so … pious, at last died an alien from the church …— Delia Salter Bacon
b : 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
2 : extraterrestrial a movie about an invasion of Earth by monstrous aliens
3 : 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)

Other Words from alien

Adjective

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

Synonyms & Antonyms for alien

Synonyms: Adjective

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Verb

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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 See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Above Glen Canyon Dam, state fisheries managers in decades past would introduce alien species to support recreational angling on the lake. Brandon Loomis, The Arizona Republic, 19 July 2022 Werthimer, Horowitz and others, for instance, are investigating ways to search for alien civilizations in the optical part of the spectrum. Denise Chow, NBC News, 2 July 2022 Chinese researchers found a signal that could be from alien civilizations, the country's science ministry is reporting. Natalie Neysa Alund, USA TODAY, 15 June 2022 As such, scientists have long wondered if alien civilizations might exist somewhere out there. Joshua Hawkins, BGR, 5 June 2022 Pike is not Kirk, but the two men do share a certain laissez-faire attitude about interfering with alien civilizations if the need seems to be there. Alan Sepinwall, Rolling Stone, 4 May 2022 The name of the CETI project evokes SETI, the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, which has scanned the sky for radio signals of alien civilizations since the 1960s, so far without finding a single message. Christoph Droesser, Smithsonian Magazine, 28 Oct. 2021 Researchers have shown that highly advanced alien civilizations could theoretically build megastructures called Dyson spheres around black holes to harness their energy, which can be 100,000 times that of our Sun. Ian Randall, Science | AAAS, 16 Aug. 2021 Here are some of the concepts experts are exploring at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, that could one day transform into a mission diving beneath the ice on alien worlds. Ashley Strickland, CNN, 14 July 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Seeing the balloon as a challenge to its status as the apex predator, the alien swallows it whole without hesitation. Ineye Komonibo, refinery29.com, 26 July 2022 There's even a direct comparison between the alien and Gordy. Quinci Legardye, Harper's BAZAAR, 25 July 2022 And consume the alien does, sucking up life forms into itself and taking all people ever were or could be as sustenance. Richard Newby, The Hollywood Reporter, 23 July 2022 Although the extraterrestrial was seen as a threat by adults, the youth and the alien were bonded, using their fingers to express their friendship. Los Angeles Times, 22 July 2022 In honor of its 20th anniversary this week, co-director/writer Chris Sanders (who also voices the titular blue alien) spoke to The New York Times about how the 2002 film came together. Benjamin Vanhoose, PEOPLE.com, 23 June 2022 Fans of the classic sci-fi coming of age story will recall that Thomas stars as Elliott, the young boy who takes in extra-terrestrial E.T. when the alien is mistakenly left behind on Earth. Maureen Lee Lenker, EW.com, 23 Mar. 2022 Deepak Thapliyal, the chief executive of the cryptocurrency company Chain, who purchased a rare NFT of a pixelated alien in February for $23.7 million, isn’t afraid. Pranshu Verma, Washington Post, 25 May 2022 Our favorite detail on the Star is the rear cargo area, which opens in an explosion of panels and hatches like some sort of double-jawed alien, only with the goal of providing a cozy tailgating spot, not eating your face. Elana Scherr, Car and Driver, 21 Apr. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Neanderthal to alien, and yet strangely well-suited for the modern era. Nick Remsen, CNN, 30 Sep. 2021 These stars and related systems should be priority one for current and future efforts to seek out exoplanets that may bear not only life but perhaps even alien technological civilizations, some astronomers say. Tess Joosse, Scientific American, 1 July 2021 Can alien smog lead us to extraterrestrial civilizations? Whitson Gordon, Wired, 8 Apr. 2021 Can alien smog lead us to extraterrestrial civilizations? Whitson Gordon, Wired, 8 Apr. 2021 Can alien smog lead us to extraterrestrial civilizations? Whitson Gordon, Wired, 8 Apr. 2021 Can alien smog lead us to extraterrestrial civilizations? Whitson Gordon, Wired, 8 Apr. 2021 Can alien smog lead us to extraterrestrial civilizations? Whitson Gordon, Wired, 8 Apr. 2021 Can alien smog lead us to extraterrestrial civilizations? Whitson Gordon, Wired, 8 Apr. 2021 See More

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.

First Known Use of alien

Adjective

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

Noun

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

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

Learn More About alien

Time Traveler for alien

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near alien

alidade

alien

alienable

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Statistics for alien

Last Updated

4 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Alien.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/alien. Accessed 15 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for alien

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

alien

transitive verb

Legal Definition of alien (Entry 3 of 3)

History and Etymology for alien

Adjective

Latin alienus not one's own, foreign

More from Merriam-Webster on alien

Nglish: Translation of alien for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of alien for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about alien

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