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Definition of "alienate" []

  • To cause to become unfriendly or hostile; estrange: alienate a friend; alienate potential supporters by taking extreme positions. See Synonyms at estrange. (verb-transitive)
  • To cause to become withdrawn or unresponsive; isolate or dissociate emotionally: The numbing labor tended to alienate workers. (verb-transitive)
  • To cause to be transferred; turn away: "He succeeded . . . in alienating the affections of my only ward” ( Oscar Wilde). (verb-transitive)
  • Law To transfer (property or a right) to the ownership of another, especially by an act of the owner rather than by inheritance. (verb-transitive)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "alienate" in a sentence
  • "The disposition of the Howard estate had been a matter of particular concern to Henry VIII who considered the Howard estates too valuable to alienate from the crown. 15 Henry's intention had been to gift them to Prince Edward."
  • "So while the labels alienate and lose their artists who provide their product, they are also managing to alienate and lose the customers who buy it."
  • "The one Hollywood consultant nobody in Democratic politics can afford to alienate is Andy Spahn."