alien

[ eyl-yuhn, ey-lee-uhn ]
/ ˈeɪl yən, ˈeɪ li ən /

noun

adjective

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WATCH NOW: Are "Immigrant," "Ex-pat," And "Alien" Synonyms?

The words "immigrant," "expat," and "alien" all have some history and tensions behind them. Is one word better to use than the others? This man helps us figure it out.

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Origin of alien

First recorded in 1300–50; Middle English, from Middle French, from Latin aliēnus, equivalent to unattested alies- (ali-, base of alius “other” + -es- noun suffix) + -nus adjective suffix

usage note for alien

historical usage of alien

OTHER WORDS FROM alien

non·al·ien, noun, adjectivepro·al·ien, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for alien

British Dictionary definitions for alien

alien
/ (ˈeɪljən, ˈeɪlɪən) /

noun

adjective

verb

(tr) rare to transfer (property, etc) to another

Derived forms of alien

alienage (ˈeɪljənɪdʒ, ˈeɪlɪə-), noun

Word Origin for alien

C14: from Latin aliēnus foreign, from alius other
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

Scientific definitions for alien

alien
[ ālē-ən ]

Introduced to a region deliberately or accidentally by humans. Starlings, German cockroaches, and dandelions are species that are alien to North America but have become widely naturalized in the continent. Compare endemic indigenous.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.