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



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 There are two ways to look for extraterrestrial life. Adam Frank, The Atlantic, 12 Sep. 2022 Under realistic estimates, Dr. Drake said in a recent interview, a search for extraterrestrial life would need to look at 10 million stars (there are at least 100 billion in the galaxy). Dennis Overbye, BostonGlobe.com, 5 Sep. 2022 These questions might seem like products of our age of space exploration, but people have been thinking about the implications of extraterrestrial life for centuries. Charles Cockell, WSJ, 1 Sep. 2022 Such situations, in which extraterrestrial samples contain dangerous tagalong organisms, are examples of backward contamination, or the risk of material from other worlds harming Earth’s biosphere. The Salt Lake Tribune, 5 Sep. 2022 Jams, a person who works at itemLabel by day and streams as a VTuber by night, created Jams—an extraterrestrial lifeform loose on Earth. WIRED, 4 Sep. 2022 Not only is film magic made through special effects — like simulating a child flying through the air on a bike with an extraterrestrial, for example — but through wigs and prosthetic illusions as well. Kirbie Johnson, Allure, 30 Aug. 2022 For over 35 years, the landscape of science fiction films has been forever inscribed with the chestbursters and plasma cannons of cinema’s most iconic extraterrestrial franchises. Carson Burton, Variety, 25 Aug. 2022 Maria Katzarova, a former associate scientist and member of Wagner’s lab, proposed to NASA the concept of creating extraterrestrial geopolymer cement. Tim Newcomb, Popular Mechanics, 15 Aug. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Amber Midthunder and Dakota Beavers' Comanche hunters face off against an extraterrestrial in Dan Trachtenberg's prequel. Clark Collis, EW.com, 8 Aug. 2022 Like the monster in the original 1987 sci-fi action horror film, DiLiegro’s Predator is a writhing, heat-seeking extraterrestrial with superhuman strength and the ability to disappear into its surroundings. Los Angeles Times, 5 Aug. 2022 Although the extraterrestrial was seen as a threat by adults, the youth and the alien were bonded, using their fingers to express their friendship. Los Angeles Times, 22 July 2022 Resident Alien stars Alan Tudyk as Harry, an extraterrestrial who’s sent to Earth on a mission to destroy all humans. Rick Porter, The Hollywood Reporter, 21 July 2022 The three-time U.S. champs went all in, with an eye-popping routine that had Bates playing an astronaut in a blue space suit and Chock taking on the role of an extraterrestrial in a shimmery silver outfit. Gil Kaufman, Billboard, 7 Feb. 2022 Based on Walter Tevis' 1963 novel, the sci-fi drama (landing on Showtime this spring) first beamed onto screens as a 1976 movie, starring the music legend as an extraterrestrial who, well, falls to Earth. Tyler Aquilina, EW.com, 16 Dec. 2021 To read Tate was to be awed by a gift that verged on the extraterrestrial. New York Times, 8 Dec. 2021 Ghastly new-age portraits of a bald person, or maybe a bald extraterrestrial. New York Times, 5 Nov. 2021 See More

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.

First Known Use of extraterrestrial


1848, in the meaning defined above


1950, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of extraterrestrial was in 1848

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Last Updated

28 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Extraterrestrial.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/extraterrestrial. Accessed 7 Oct. 2022.

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Nglish: Translation of extraterrestrial for Spanish Speakers


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