Synonyms & Antonyms of alienate

1 to cause to change from friendly or loving to unfriendly or uncaring
  • her changed position on the issue surprised and alienated many of her supporters

Synonyms for alienate

Words Related to alienate

Near Antonyms for alienate

Antonyms for alienate

2 to give over the legal possession or ownership of
  • landowners have a right to alienate their right of ownership—in other words, they can sell the land if they want to

Synonyms for alienate

Words Related to alienate

Phrases Synonymous with alienate

Near Antonyms for alienate

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Frequently Asked Questions About alienate

How does the verb alienate contrast with its synonyms?

The words disaffect and estrange are common synonyms of alienate. While all three words mean "to cause one to break a bond of affection or loyalty," alienate may or may not suggest separation but always implies loss of affection or interest.

managed to alienate all his coworkers

When is it sensible to use disaffect instead of alienate?

The meanings of disaffect and alienate largely overlap; however, disaffect refers especially to those from whom loyalty is expected and stresses the effects (such as rebellion or discontent) of alienation without actual separation.

troops disaffected by hunger

In what contexts can estrange take the place of alienate?

Although the words estrange and alienate have much in common, estrange implies the development of indifference or hostility with consequent separation or divorcement.

his estranged wife

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Time Traveler for alienate

Time Traveler

The first known use of alienate was in the 15th century

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Cite this Entry

“Alienate.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Jan. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on alienate

Nglish: Translation of alienate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of alienate for Arabic Speakers


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