extraterrestrial

adjective
ex·​tra·​ter·​res·​tri·​al | \ ˌek-strə-tə-ˈre-strē-əl How to pronounce extraterrestrial (audio) , -ˈres-chəl, -ˈresh-chəl\

Definition of extraterrestrial

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: originating, existing, or occurring outside the earth or its atmosphere extraterrestrial life

extraterrestrial

noun

Definition of extraterrestrial (Entry 2 of 2)

: a being from another world : an extraterrestrial being

Examples of extraterrestrial in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

This extraterrestrial is quickly taking over The Masked Singer. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "See Who Is Still Left on 'The Masked Singer'," 9 Feb. 2019 To the number of fine books about these extraterrestrial oddities can now be added a worthy pair for a general readership, one that recounts the history and present state of black-hole research and the other that peers into its near future. Alan Hirshfeld, WSJ, "Book Review: Feeling Gravity’s Pull," 16 Nov. 2018 Rodriguez Aguilera isn’t the only candidate in this year’s midterm elections to have an extraterrestrial connection. Kaitlyn Schallhorn, Fox News, "Florida House candidate who claims she was abducted by aliens endorsed by major newspaper," 21 Aug. 2018 The world grapples with new knowledge of an intelligent extraterrestrial civilization, and all the promise and terror that comes with that discovery. Vox Staff, Vox, "The most thought-provoking books the Vox staff read in 2018," 21 Dec. 2018 Shortly before Halloween, the chairman of Harvard's astronomy department openly declared that an interstellar object hurtling through our Solar System might just be part of an extraterrestrial craft. Rob Reid, Ars Technica, "Nailing down the nature of ‘Oumuamua—it’s probably a comet, but…," 29 Nov. 2018 Last April, a SpaceX rocket launched that mission to map 85 percent of the sky in the coming years and look for planets similar to ours, ones that could be prime candidates to hunt for extraterrestrial life. Andrew Moseman, Popular Mechanics, "Kepler's Last Light, and Its Towering Legacy," 8 Feb. 2019 Denying the existence of extraterrestrial life, or fairies, or Santa Claus, does not constitute a worldview. Tim Crane, WSJ, "‘Seven Types of Atheism’ Review: Better Off Without Him?," 17 Dec. 2018 For most of the 60-year history of the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI), researchers have hunted for radio signals. Mike Wall, Space.com, "Student Project Scans Sky for Alien Laser Beams," 29 Sep. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

There have been multiple references to extraterrestrials throughout AHS, most notably in Asylum. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "American Horror Story Season 9: Everything We Know So Far," 3 Apr. 2019 Here are oceans of contingencies navigable only by an alternative race of extraterrestrials: the angels of heaven. Brad Leithauser, WSJ, "‘The Grandmaster’ Review: The 64-Square Universe," 8 Nov. 2018 Maybe extraterrestrials will be able to figure this out after all. Cory Zapatka, The Verge, "Decoding images from the Golden Record," 30 Oct. 2018 Elle Fanning plays one of the extraterrestrials, who find themselves in the suburbs of London in 1977. Gabe Cohn, New York Times, "What’s on TV Saturday: ‘American Made’ and ‘I Want That Wedding’," 9 June 2018 Bettina Rodriguez Aguilera, a former city councilwoman from the west Dade suburb of Doral, has publicly discussed meeting extraterrestrials as a child. David Smiley And Alex Daugherty, miamiherald, "They've met aliens and dictators and slimed Al Gore: Meet Ros-Lehtinen's would-be heirs | Miami Herald," 23 May 2018 Alex Sharp leads the cast, which includes Nicole Kidman (as a human) and Elle Fanning and Ruth Wilson (as extraterrestrials). Ben Kenigsberg, New York Times, "Summer 2018 Movie Release Schedule," 4 May 2018 So how close are the nearest signaling extraterrestrials? NBC News, "Simple math shows how many space aliens may be out there," 26 Jan. 2018 In Space Opera, humanity is living blissfully unaware of alien life, until extraterrestrials appear and invite them into an advanced intergalactic civilization. Andrew Liptak, The Verge, "Space Opera is the funniest science fiction novel I’ve read since Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy," 14 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'extraterrestrial.' 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 extraterrestrial

Adjective

1848, in the meaning defined above

Noun

1950, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about extraterrestrial

Statistics for extraterrestrial

Last Updated

11 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for extraterrestrial

The first known use of extraterrestrial was in 1848

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for extraterrestrial

extraterrestrial

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of extraterrestrial

: coming from or existing outside the planet Earth

More from Merriam-Webster on extraterrestrial

Spanish Central: Translation of extraterrestrial

Nglish: Translation of extraterrestrial for Spanish Speakers

Comments on extraterrestrial

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

WORD OF THE DAY

to mark by some ceremony or observation

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Challenging Vocabulary Quiz Returns!

  • stylized drawing of woman pole vaulting across gap to get trophy
  • Which is a synonym of fuliginous?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

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

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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