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

Definition of estrange

transitive verb

1 : 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.
2 : 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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from estrange

estrangement \ i-​ˈstrānj-​mənt How to pronounce estrangement (audio) \ noun
her estrangement from her family
estranger noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for estrange


alien, alienate, disaffect, disgruntle, sour



Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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

Wade has known Lindsey for about 11 years and described her relationship with her family as estranged. Doha Madani, NBC News, "Police investigate 11th murder of a black transgender woman this year," 28 June 2019 Joyce Hunter, a co-founder of the school and a founding member of the institute, was herself once a high-school dropout estranged from her family. Masha Gessen, The New Yorker, "Coming Out, and Rising Up, in the Fifty Years After Stonewall," 28 June 2019 Both of his sons have since died and his wife, Ruth, is estranged. Katie Benner, New York Times, "Victims of Bernard Madoff’s Ponzi Scheme to Receive Millions More," 12 Apr. 2018 Portuguese speaking Africa, as have been writers in mainly African languages, has been estranged from all of these groupings. James Murua, Quartz Africa, "The rise and rise of the literary festival in African cities," 9 Aug. 2019 The couple were estranged, neighbors told the Inquirer. Chris Harris,, "Philadelphia Cop Kills Wife, Self in Apparent Murder-Suicide: 'Very Sad'," 9 July 2019 The novel unravels the past to explain why Hadia's younger brother, Amar, is estranged from the family. USA TODAY, "Sarah Jessica Parker dishes on 'SATC' and the brand-new novel from SJP for Hogarth," 13 June 2018 Frédéric Chau, one of the leads in the hit 'Serial (Bad) Weddings' movies, stars in this dramedy about a Franco-Chinese man estranged from his native family. Jordan Mintzer, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Made in China': Film Review," 8 July 2019 According to multiple accounts, she is now estranged from all three of her children. The Washington Post, The Mercury News, "Shanahan withdraws, addresses violent incidents," 18 June 2019

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.

See More

First Known Use of estrange

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for estrange

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about estrange

Statistics for estrange

Last Updated

11 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for estrange

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for estrange



English Language Learners Definition of estrange

: to cause someone to be no longer friendly or close to another person or group
: to cause someone to be no longer involved or connected with something

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on estrange

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with estrange

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for estrange

Spanish Central: Translation of estrange

Nglish: Translation of estrange for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of estrange for Arabic Speakers

Comments on estrange

What made you want to look up estrange? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a bell tower

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Where in the World? A Quiz

  • peter bruegel tower of babel painting
  • What language does pajama come from?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!