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

  • adj. Owing political allegiance to another country or government; foreign: alien residents.
  • adj. Belonging to, characteristic of, or constituting another and very different place, society, or person; strange. See Synonyms at foreign.
  • adj. Dissimilar, inconsistent, or opposed, as in nature: emotions alien to her temperament.
  • n. An unnaturalized foreign resident of a country. Also called noncitizen.
  • n. A person from another and very different family, people, or place.
  • n. A person who is not included in a group; an outsider.
  • n. A creature from outer space: a story about an invasion of aliens.
  • n. Ecology An organism, especially a plant or animal, that occurs in or is naturalized in a region to which it is not native.
  • transitive v. Law To transfer (property) to another; alienate.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A person, animal, plant, or other thing which is from outside the family, group, organization, or territory under consideration.
  • n. A foreigner residing in a country.
  • n. Any life form of extraterrestrial origin.
  • adj. Pertaining to an alien.
  • adj. Very unfamiliar, strange, or removed.
  • v. To estrange; to alienate.
  • v. To transfer the ownership of something.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Not belonging to the same country, land, or government, or to the citizens or subjects thereof; foreign.
  • adj. Wholly different in nature; foreign; adverse; inconsistent (with); incongruous; -- followed by from or sometimes by to.
  • n. A foreigner; one owing allegiance, or belonging, to another country; a foreign-born resident of a country in which he does not possess the privileges of a citizen. Hence, a stranger. See alienage.
  • n. One excluded from certain privileges; one alienated or estranged.
  • transitive v. To alienate; to estrange; to transfer, as property or ownership.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Residing under another government or in another country than that of one's birth, and not having rights of citizenship in such place of residence: as, the alien population; an alien condition.
  • Foreign; not belonging to one's own nation.
  • Wholly different in nature; estranged; adverse; hostile: used with to or from.
  • n. A foreigner; one born in or belonging to another country who has not acquired citizenship by naturalization; one who is not a denizen, or entitled to the privileges of a citizen. In France a child born of residents who are not citizens is an alien.
  • n. A stranger.
  • n. An English statute of 1836 (6 and 7 Wm. IV. c. 11) providing for the registration of aliens; and one of 1844 (7 and 8 Vict. c. 66) allowing aliens from friendly nations to hold real and personal property for purposes of residence, and resident aliens to become naturalized.
  • n. An English statute of 1847 (10 and 11 Vict. c. 83) concerning naturalization.
  • To transfer or convey to another; make over the possession of: as, to alien a title or property. In this sense also written aliene.
  • To make averse or indifferent; turn the affections or inclinations of; alienate; estrange.

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

  • n. a form of life assumed to exist outside the Earth or its atmosphere
  • adj. being or from or characteristic of another place or part of the world
  • adj. not contained in or deriving from the essential nature of something
  • v. transfer property or ownership
  • n. a person who comes from a foreign country; someone who does not owe allegiance to your country
  • v. arouse hostility or indifference in where there had formerly been love, affection, or friendliness
  • n. anyone who does not belong in the environment in which they are found


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

Middle English, from Old French, from Latin aliēnus, from alius, other.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Old French alien, aliene, from Latin aliēnus ("belonging to someone else, later exotic, foreign"), from alius ("other"), from Proto-Indo-European *h₂élyos.


  • FACT: United States Code, Title 8, Chapter 12, Subchapter II, Part VIII, Section 1324a, states: “It is unlawful for a person or other entity to hire for employment in the United States, an alien, knowing the alien is an unauthorized alien…


  • MISCELLANEOUS WORDS. adobe _ado'ba_ algebra not _bra_ alien _alyen_, not _alien_ ameliorate _amelyorate_ antarctic _antarktik_ anti not _anti_ archangel _arkangel_ archbishop _arch_, not _ark_ arch fiend _arch_, not _ark_ architect _arkitect_ awkward _awkward_, not _ard_

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  • Our buddy the margin alien is taking centre stage at another subcontinent for the next month.

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  • They accused Abu Hilala of using a word alien to Jordanian society, failing to respect journalistic objectivity and leaning toward the opposition. Front Page

  • Never use the term alien, except in quoted matter; it is considered a pejorative by most immigrants. Chronicle

  • "Transformers" film in a prologue by Optimus Prime (voiced majestically again by Peter Cullen), "Revenge of the Fallen" begins with a peek at the back story of the title alien robot The Fallen. - Local New

  • The term alien is used only a few times in "Avatar," in each case among Jake and the Na'vi referring to the humans, including Weaver's character.

    The Seattle Times

  • I really love the variety of responses and interpretations when the alien is asked where he's from and points his thumb upwards, and I love how his feet being noticeably different backfires on the bad aliens when they're trying to get human help in hunting him.

    mrissa: And then Straithairn sort of shrieks like some kind of evil alien bird.

  • Sometimes, the alien is the perfect metaphor for what is happening in your back yard.

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  • If the alien is a 'guy in a suit' with an obvious zipper, I suspect we'll all get very upset.

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