- (formerly) a doctor specializing in the treatment of mental illness.
- an expert witness in a sanity trial.
Origin of alienist
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for alienist
Why might not Allonby have deceived him as to the alienist's diagnosis?
The English poet's plays are a perfect storehouse of examples for the alienist.Iconoclasts
To the alienist and the criminal anthropologist it is a social pathology.
No doctor, no alienist, would have pronounced him mad, of course.The Brightener
C. N. Williamson
I feel that she is likely to get an alienist in at any time.Outside Inn
Ethel M. Kelley
- US a psychiatrist who specializes in the legal aspects of mental illness
- obsolete a person who practises alienism
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 alienist
"one who treats mental illness, 'mad doctor,' " 1864, from French aliéniste, from alienation in the sense of "insanity, loss of mental faculty," a sense attested in English from late 15c. (see alienate).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
- A physician accepted by a court of law as an expert on the mental competence of principals or witnesses.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.