Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A physician who has been accepted by a court of law as an expert on the mental competence of principals or witnesses appearing before it.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An expert in mental illness, especially with reference to legal ramifications.
  • n. A psychiatrist or psychologist.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. One who treats diseases of the mind.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. One engaged in the scientific study or treatment of mental diseases.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a psychiatrist and specialist in the legal aspects of mental illness

Etymologies

French aliéniste, from aliéné, insane, from Latin aliēnātus, past participle of aliēnāre, to deprive of reason; see alienate.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From French aliéniste, from aliéné, for insane (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Bucke (1837-1902), an interesting character, rugged adventurer, medical doctor, and "alienist" (psychiatrist) helped set up an "insane asylum" in Canada with quite progressive "treatment" for its time.

    Unity of the universe

  • "alienist" study, or giving us a fairly ordinary _étudiant_ and aspirant in letters.

    A History of the French Novel, Vol. 2 To the Close of the 19th Century

  • The weapons on the wall had been used in actual homicides and were provided by Chicago policemen; the skulls by an alienist at a nearby lunatic asylum, the blankets by a member who had acquired it while covering a battle between the army and the Sioux.

    Hometown News: The Ballad of Ray and Rose

  • He engages Dr. Laszlo Kreizler, the noted alienist, to solve the murder – off the record, of course.

    12. The Alienist by Caleb Carr

  • Stevie Taggert, former child of the streets and current employee of the noted alienist Dr. Laszlo Kreizler, is approached by private detective Sara Howard.

    4. The Angel of Darkness by Caleb Carr

  • He also sends his friend Dr. Lefebre, an observant alienist, to check on the emotional well being of the distraught Lucy whose aunts insist she is deranged.

    A Mortal Curiosity-Ann Granger « The Merry Genre Go Round Reviews

  • The ancient alienist did not know the doctor as I did: Though by outward sign Warthrop appeared completely calm and collected, within him a fire burned, as hot as the sun, and only by the supreme effort of his inestimable will was the doctor able to contain it.

    The Monstrumologist

  • “So you have taken up his odd profession,” ventured the alienist.

    The Monstrumologist

  • The doctor handed her his card and twenty dollars in gold, and presently we were escorted to the little parlor with its odiferous atmosphere and tired trappings, where the ancient alienist huddled in his dressing gown beneath a threadbare blanket, shivering despite the robust fire dancing in the hearth.

    The Monstrumologist

  • Carr hauls in the same set of detectives, led by Dr. Laszlo Kreizler, the alienist (old-timey talk for psychologist).

    'The Alienist Ii'

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