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

Example Sentences

she estranged several of her coworkers when she let her promotion go to her head
Recent Examples on the Web And the supernatural is just a way to deal with it, and estrange myself from it in a way that allows me as the writer to make contact with some of these ideas. Christian Holub,, 31 Oct. 2022 At the same time, going to so much trouble to not only embarrass this woman, but to put her in debt, estrange her from her closest friend, etc., is such overkill that even Al and Darius don’t seem the slightest bit amused by it. Alan Sepinwall, Rolling Stone, 15 Sep. 2022 As China has aligned itself more closely with Russia — regarding it as an ally to blunt U.S. global influence — its position is likely to estrange Europe further. Stephanie Yang, Los Angeles Times, 14 Mar. 2022 Ending the filibuster for nominations fueled polarization in the Senate, and nuking it for legislation would probably further estrange political factions. Fred Bauer, National Review, 2 Nov. 2020 Ensuing legal challenges from both sides would further estrange the two halves of the country. Stephen Collinson, CNN, 2 Nov. 2020 At the time, the writer Albert Camus was working on The Rebel, a book that would estrange him instantly and permanently from the Communist left in France. Sean B. Carroll, The Atlantic, 6 Oct. 2020 Lipolelo had been estranged from Thabane, who had filed for divorce when she was shot dead near her Maseru home on the night of June 14, 2017. Herbert Moyo,, 21 Feb. 2020 Lipolelo had been estranged from Thabane, who had filed for divorce when she was shot dead near her Maseru home on the night of June 14, 2017. Washington Post, 21 Feb. 2020 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'estrange.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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 8 Feb. 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

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