al·ien·ate (ālyə-nāt′, ālē-ə-)
tr.v. al·ien·at·ed, al·ien·at·ing, al·ien·ates
1. To cause to become unfriendly or hostile; estrange: alienate a friend; alienate potential supporters by taking extreme positions.
2. To cause to become withdrawn or unresponsive; isolate or dissociate emotionally: The numbing labor tended to alienate workers.
3. To cause to be transferred; turn away: "He succeeded ... in alienating the affections of my only ward" (Oscar Wilde).
4. Law To transfer (property or a right) to the ownership of another, especially by an act of the owner rather than by inheritance.
[Latin aliēnāre, aliēnāt-, from Latin aliēnus, alien; see ALIEN.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
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