es·​trange i-ˈstrānj How to pronounce estrange (audio)
estranged; estranging

transitive verb

: to arouse especially mutual enmity or indifference in (someone) where there had formerly been love, affection, or friendliness : alienate
John's excesses gradually estranged him from his mother …Philip Norman
She became estranged from her family.
: to remove from customary environment or associations
The first words spoken were not those of one becoming estranged from this world, and already permitted to stray at times into realms foreign to the living.Charlotte Brontë
estrangement noun
her estrangement from her family
estranger noun
Choose the Right Synonym for estrange

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 estrange in a Sentence

she estranged several of her coworkers when she let her promotion go to her head
Recent Examples on the Web Whatever the legal fallout, the complexity of the real story can no longer be denied: a dream came true, and the once happy family is nonetheless estranged. Ben McGrath, The New Yorker, 23 Aug. 2023 They are devastated by accusations by Oher, who has been estranged from them for about a decade, their lawyers say. Adrian Sainz, Fortune, 18 Aug. 2023 Julia is joined by their cousin, Skye, who they've been estranged from due to family drama between their mothers. Korin Miller, Women's Health, 18 Aug. 2023 In 2018 Fernandez Saldana married Gardner, whose parents recently said they have been estranged for some time. Scott Butler, USA TODAY, 18 Aug. 2023 Attorneys for the family have also said the family and Oher have been estranged from each other for roughly 10 years, according to the Associated Press. Asher Notheis, Washington Examiner, 17 Aug. 2023 Lawyers for the family said in a Wednesday press conference that the two parties have been estranged for the last 10 years. Tommy McArdle, Peoplemag, 17 Aug. 2023 Ben and his son, Yoel, are estranged after the father’s cannabis business ended in jail time. Lorraine Berry, Los Angeles Times, 28 Aug. 2023 Charles and Vallow Daybell were married in 2006 and were estranged by 2019, when divorce papers were filed. Doha Madani, NBC News, 31 July 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'estrange.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English, from Anglo-French estrangir, estranger, from Medieval Latin extraneare, from Latin extraneus strange — more at strange entry 1

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Time Traveler
The first known use of estrange was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near estrange

Cite this Entry

“Estrange.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


es·​trange is-ˈtrānj How to pronounce estrange (audio)
estranged; estranging
: to cause to change from friendly or loving to unfriendly or uncaring : alienate
estranged from their children
estrangement noun

More from Merriam-Webster on estrange

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