Synonyms & Antonyms of alien

(Entry 1 of 3)

1 being, relating to, or characteristic of a country other than one's own
  • they were careful to learn of any alien business customs before trying to expand overseas

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2 not being a vital part of or belonging to something
  • it's completely alien to her nature to wish evil of anyone

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Synonyms & Antonyms of alien (Entry 2 of 3)

1 to cause to change from friendly or loving to unfriendly or uncaring
  • such angry outbursts will rapidly alien any friends you might possibly have left

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2 to give over the legal possession or ownership of
  • the couple plans to alien the adjoining house lot to their eldest son

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Synonyms & Antonyms of alien (Entry 3 of 3)

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Frequently Asked Questions About alien

How is the word alien different from other adjectives like it?

Some common synonyms of alien are extraneous, extrinsic, and foreign. While all these words mean "external to a thing, its essential nature, or its original character," alien is stronger than foreign in suggesting opposition, repugnance, or irreconcilability.

a practice totally alien to her nature

In what contexts can extraneous take the place of alien?

The synonyms extraneous and alien are sometimes interchangeable, but extraneous applies to what is on or comes from the outside and may or may not be capable of becoming an essential part.

arguments extraneous to the issue

When is it sensible to use extrinsic instead of alien?

While in some cases nearly identical to alien, extrinsic applies to what is distinctly outside the thing in question or is not contained in or derived from its essential nature.

sentimental value that is extrinsic to the house's market value

When could foreign be used to replace alien?

The words foreign and alien are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, foreign applies to what is so different as to be rejected or repelled or to be incapable of becoming assimilated.

techniques foreign to French cuisine

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Time Traveler for alien

Time Traveler

The first known use of alien was in the 14th century

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Cite this Entry

“Alien.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Oct. 2022.

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