[ ey-lee-uh-neyt, eyl-yuh- ]
See synonyms for: alienatealienatedalienating on

verb (used with object),al·ien·at·ed, al·ien·at·ing.
  1. to make indifferent or hostile: By refusing to get a job, he has alienated his entire family.

  2. to cause to be withdrawn or isolated from the objective world: Bullying alienates already shy students from their classmates.

  1. to turn away; transfer or divert: to alienate funds from their intended purpose.

  2. Law. to transfer or convey, as title, property, or other right, to another: to alienate lands.

Origin of alienate

First recorded in 1400–50; late Middle English, from Latin aliēnātus (past participle of aliēnāre “to transfer by sale, estrange”), equivalent to aliēn(us) “belonging to another, another's, foreign, alien ” + -ātus -ate1

synonym study For alienate

1. See estrange.

Other words from alienate

  • al·ien·a·tor, noun
  • non·al·ien·at·ing, adjective
  • re·al·ien·ate, verb (used with object), re·al·ien·at·ed, re·al·ien·at·ing.
  • un·al·ien·at·ing, adjective

Words Nearby alienate Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use alienate in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for alienate


/ (ˈeɪljəˌneɪt, ˈeɪlɪə-) /

  1. to cause (a friend, sympathizer, etc) to become indifferent, unfriendly, or hostile; estrange

  2. to turn away; divert: to alienate the affections of a person

  1. law to transfer the ownership of (property, title, etc) to another person

Derived forms of alienate

  • alienator, noun

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