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[in-eyl-yuh-nuh-buh l, -ey-lee-uh-] /ɪnˈeɪl yə nə bəl, -ˈeɪ li ə-/
not transferable to another or not capable of being taken away or denied; not alienable:
inalienable rights, freedoms, and liberties; an inalienable territory; inalienable principles and values.
Origin of inalienable
First recorded in 1610-20; in-3 + alienable
Related forms
inalienability, inalienableness, noun
inalienably, adverb
inviolable, absolute, unassailable, inherent.
Word story Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for inalienability
Historical Examples
  • In the West we have systems such as that of the homestead, based on the inalienability of the family property (bien de famille).

    The Shield

  • The idea of consent is also revolutionary—but the moment "inalienability" is granted, consent to be governed must follow.

    Proclaim Liberty! Gilbert Seldes
  • inalienability being foreign to the discussion, the long word inalienable only encumbers the sentence.

    The Verbalist Thomas Embly Osmun, (AKA Alfred Ayres)
  • Neither Solon nor Lycurgus taught the inalienability of human rights.

    The Anti-Slavery Examiner, Omnibus American Anti-Slavery Society
British Dictionary definitions for inalienability


not able to be transferred to another; not alienable: the inalienable rights of the citizen
Derived Forms
inalienability, inalienableness, noun
inalienably, adverb
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 inalienability



1640s, from in- (1) "not, opposite of" + alienable (see alienate). Related: Inalienably; Inalienability.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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