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ex·​tra·​ter·​res·​tri·​al ˌek-strə-tə-ˈre-strē-əl How to pronounce extraterrestrial (audio)
: originating, existing, or occurring outside the earth or its atmosphere
extraterrestrial life


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: a being from another world : an extraterrestrial being

Examples of extraterrestrial in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
All of it lies waiting, undisturbed in a land without weather, for the extraterrestrial archaeologists of the future. Cody Cottier, Discover Magazine, 6 May 2024 Said to be informed by everything from Mayan pyramids to Quantum computers, her work crosses fact and fiction for an extraterrestrial worldview. Jessica Gelt, Los Angeles Times, 4 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for extraterrestrial 

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

Word History

First Known Use


1848, in the meaning defined above


1950, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of extraterrestrial was in 1848

Dictionary Entries Near extraterrestrial

Cite this Entry

“Extraterrestrial.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/extraterrestrial. Accessed 22 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


: coming from or existing outside the earth or its atmosphere
extraterrestrial life
extraterrestrial noun

More from Merriam-Webster on extraterrestrial

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