self-alienation

noun

self-alien·​ation ˌself-ˌā-lē-ə-ˈnā-shən How to pronounce self-alienation (audio)
-ˌāl-yə-
: alienation by or from oneself or itself: such as
a
: the act or process of causing oneself to become alienated from others
… many school-age children already possess the social hesitations and aversive tendencies that will come to characterize them more clearly in later life. But for many other youngsters, the rudiments of social withdrawal and self-alienation have only developed minimally when they first encounter the challenges of peer-group activities. Theodore Millon et al.
Such conflicts tarnish Russia's image, while the benefits of steady self-alienation from the West are hard to identify. Masha Lipman
b
: a sense of detachment from or a lack of awareness of one's own thoughts, emotions, or identity
feelings of self-alienation
Although some level of self-alienation is inevitable, when present to a great extent this mismatch could lead to psychopathology. The "subjective feeling of not knowing oneself, or feeling out of touch with our true self" … is indicative of this aspect. Simon Grégoire et al.
… asked people to rate themselves on three factors: authentic living ("I live in accordance with my values and beliefs"), self-alienation ("I feel out of touch with the 'real me'"), and acceptance of external influence ("I always feel I need to do what others expect me to do"). Scott Barry Kaufman

Word History

First Known Use

1648, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of self-alienation was in 1648

Dictionary Entries Near self-alienation

Cite this Entry

“Self-alienation.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/self-alienation. Accessed 3 Dec. 2022.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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


The Great British Vocabulary Quiz

  • union jack speech bubble
  • Named after Sir Robert Peel, what are British police called?
Name That Thing

You know what it looks like… but what is it called?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ