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[eyl-yuh-neyt, ey-lee-uh-]
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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 to cause to be withdrawn or isolated from the objective world: Bullying alienates already shy students from their classmates.
  3. to turn away; transfer or divert: to alienate funds from their intended purpose.
  4. Law. to transfer or convey, as title, property, or other right, to another: to alienate lands.
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Origin of alienate

1400–50; late Middle English < Latin aliēnātus (past participle of aliēnāre), equivalent to aliēn(us) alien + -ātus -ate1
Related formsal·ien·a·tor, nounnon·al·ien·at·ing, adjectivere·al·ien·ate, verb (used with object), re·al·ien·at·ed, re·al·ien·at·ing.un·al·ien·at·ed, adjectiveun·al·ien·at·ing, adjective


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1. See estrange.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for alienate


verb (tr)
  1. to cause (a friend, sympathizer, etc) to become indifferent, unfriendly, or hostile; estrange
  2. to turn away; divertto alienate the affections of a person
  3. law to transfer the ownership of (property, title, etc) to another person
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Derived Formsalienator, 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

Word Origin and History for alienate


1540s, "make estranged" (in feelings or affections), from Latin alienatus, past participle of alienare "to make another's, estrange," from alienus "of or belonging to another person or place," from alius "(an)other" (see alias (adv.)). Related: Alienated; alienating.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper