[ eyl-yuh-nist, ey-lee-uh- ]

  1. (formerly) a doctor specializing in the treatment of mental illness.

  2. an expert witness in a sanity trial.

Origin of alienist

1860–65; alien(ation) + -ist; compare French aliéniste in same sense

Words Nearby alienist Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use alienist in a sentence

  • There might have been employment here for the alienist or for those who circulate the pledge; but I had had enough of it.

    Sixes and Sevens | O. Henry
  • Dr. Carew proved to be a young and enthusiastic alienist whose heart and soul was in his work.

    The Angel of Terror | Edgar Wallace
  • By way of a joke we tackled a medical alienist who had a seat on the commission.

  • It is possible, however, that this very opinion may be a fixed idea or symptomatic eccentricity of the alienist himself.

  • I think we'll have to take him up to the city to consult some prominent alienist, as the newspapers would say.

    Jim Spurling, Fisherman | Albert Walter Tolman

British Dictionary definitions for alienist


/ (ˈeɪljənɪst, ˈeɪlɪə-) /

  1. US a psychiatrist who specializes in the legal aspects of mental illness

  2. 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