AskDefine | Define alien

Dictionary Definition

alien adj
1 not contained in or deriving from the essential nature of something; "an economic theory alien to the spirit of capitalism"; "the mysticism so foreign to the French mind and temper"; "jealousy is foreign to her nature" [syn: foreign]
2 being or from or characteristic of another place or part of the world; "alien customs"; "exotic plants in a greenhouse"; "exotic cuisine" [syn: exotic]


1 a person who comes from a foreign country; someone who does not owe allegiance to your country [syn: foreigner, noncitizen, outlander] [ant: citizen]
2 anyone who does not belong in the environment in which they are found [syn: stranger, unknown]
3 a form of life assumed to exist outside the Earth or its atmosphere [syn: extraterrestrial being, extraterrestrial]


1 transfer property or ownership; "The will aliened the property to the heirs" [syn: alienate]
2 arouse hostility or indifference in where there had formerly been love, affection, or friendliness [syn: estrange, alienate, disaffect]

User Contributed Dictionary



From Latin aliēnus, "belonging to someone else", then "exotic, foreign", from alius, "other". Cognate with Ancient Greek αλλος (allos), "another, different" and Old English elles, "else".


  • /ˈeɪ.li.ən/, /"eI.lI.@n/


  1. (1340) A person, animal, plant or other thing which is from outside the family, group, organization, or territory under consideration.
  2. (____) A foreigner who is not a subject of the country in which he lives.
  3. (1935) Any life form of non-Earth origin.

Related terms


person etc. outside of the considered territory:
life form of non-Earth origin


  1. (1330) Pertaining to an alien.
  2. (1382) Being exceedingly unfamiliar with or removed from a concept.


Pertaining to an alien:
Being unfamiliar with:


  1. To estrange; to alienate

Extensive Definition

Alien may refer to:

Science and Engineering

Film and television

Alien franchise

The Alien (franchise) is a science fiction horror film franchise consisiting of several movies and numerous other related media spin-offs. For the creature featured in the franchise see Alien (Alien franchise).
Main film series:





  • Alien (law), owing political allegiance to another country or government. A person who is neither a native nor a citizen of the country of residence. Person refers both to humans, which US law calls individuals as well as corporations.
  • Alien (signifier), use in literature and criticism as the embodiment of an outside perspective or the sense of the other.
  • Alien Technology, a maker of UHF RFID tags.
  • Alien Sun, a Singaporean actress.
alien in Czech: Alien
alien in German: Alien
alien in Spanish: Alien
alien in French: Alien
alien in Korean: 에일리언
alien in Dutch: Alien
alien in Japanese: エイリアン
alien in Polish: Alien
alien in Russian: Чужой (значения)
alien in Simple English: Alien
alien in Finnish: Alien
alien in Turkish: Alien

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Jim Crow, Martian, Uitlander, abalienate, adversary, adversative, adverse, alienate, alter, antagonistic, anti, antipathetic, antithetic, apart, apartheid, assign, astronaut, auslander, barbarian, barbaric, barbarous, case, cede, change, character, clashing, color bar, competitive, con, conflicting, contradictory, contrary, convert, convey, cosmonaut, counter, crackpot, crank, cross, deed, deracine, detached, disaccordant, disaffect, disconnected, discrete, disjunct, displaced person, disrelated, dissentient, dissociated, disunify, disunite, division, eccentric, emigre, enemy, ethnocentrism, exclusiveness, exile, exotic, exterior, external, exterrestrial, exterritorial, extragalactic, extralateral, extraliminal, extramundane, extramural, extraneous, extrapolar, extraprovincial, extrasolar, extraterrene, extraterrestrial, extraterritorial, extratribal, extrinsic, fanatic, foreign, foreign devil, foreign-born, foreigner, fractious, give up, gringo, hand over, hermit, hobo, hostile, immigrant, incommensurable, incomparable, incompatible, incongruous, inconsonant, independent, inimical, insular, insularity, insulation, intrusive, irrelative, isolated, isolation, know-nothingism, kook, lone wolf, loner, make over, man from Mars, maverick, meshuggenah, narrowness, natural, negative, newcomer, nonconformist, noncooperative, nut, obstinate, odd fellow, oddball, oddity, opponent, opposed, opposing, opposite, oppositional, oppositive, oppugnant, original, other, otherworldly, out-group, outcast, outland, outlander, outlandish, outlaw, outside, outsider, overthwart, pariah, parochialism, persona non grata, perverse, planetary colony, quarantine, queer duck, queer fish, queer specimen, race hatred, racial segregation, rara avis, recalcitrant, refractory, refugee, relinquish, remise, removed, repugnant, rival, rocket man, rocketeer, screwball, seclusion, segregate, segregation, separate, separated, separation, sign over, snobbishness, solitary, space, space crew, space traveler, spaceman, strange, stranger, the Wandering Jew, tightness, tramontane, tramp, transcendental, transmundane, type, ulterior, ultramontane, unaffiliated, unallied, unassociated, unconnected, uncooperative, unearthly, unfamiliar, unfavorable, unfriendly, unpropitious, unrelatable, unrelated, wanderer, wean, xenophobia, zealot
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