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[eyl-yuh-ney-shuh n, ey-lee-uh-] /ˌeɪl yəˈneɪ ʃən, ˌeɪ li ə-/
the act of alienating, or of causing someone to become indifferent or hostile:
The advocacy group fights against prejudice and social alienation of immigrants.
the state of being alienated, withdrawn, or isolated from the objective world, as through indifference or disaffection:
the group's alienation from mainstream society.
the act of turning away, transferring, or diverting:
the alienation of land and resources from African peoples.
Law. a transfer of the title to property by one person to another; conveyance.
Statistics. the lack of correlation in the variation of two measurable variates over a population.
Origin of alienation
1350-1400; Middle English < Latin aliēnātiōn- (stem of aliēnātiō), equivalent to aliēnāt(us) (see alienate) + -iōn- -ion
Related forms
alienative, adjective
nonalienation, noun
realienation, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for alienative


/ˌeɪljəˈneɪʃən; ˌeɪlɪə-/
a turning away; estrangement
the state of being an outsider or the feeling of being isolated, as from society
(psychiatry) a state in which a person's feelings are inhibited so that eventually both the self and the external world seem unreal
  1. the transfer of property, as by conveyance or will, into the ownership of another
  2. the right of an owner to dispose of his property
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for alienative



"transfer of ownership," late 14c., from Old French alienacion and directly from Latin alienationem (nominative alienatio) "a transfer, surrender," noun of action from past participle stem of alienare (see alienate). It also meant "loss or derangement of mental faculties, insanity" (late 15c.), hence alienist. Phrase alienation of affection as a U.S. legal term in divorce cases for "falling in love with someone else" dates to 1861.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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alienative in Medicine

alienation al·ien·a·tion (āl'yə-nā'shən, ā'lē-ə-)
A state of estrangement between the self and the objective world or between different parts of the personality.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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alienative in Culture
alienation [(ay-lee-uh-nay-shuhn)]

A feeling of separation or isolation. In social science, alienation is associated with the problems caused by rapid social change, such as industrialization and urbanization (see Industrial Revolution), which has broken down traditional relationships among individuals and groups and the goods and services they produce.

Note: Alienation is most often associated with minorities, the poor, the unemployed, and other groups who have limited power to bring about changes in society.
Note: Marxism holds that workers in capitalist nations are alienated because they have no claim to ownership of the products they make.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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