Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A physician who evaluates the competence of defendants to stand trial.

from The Century Dictionary.

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

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun One who treats diseases of the mind.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

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

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

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

Etymologies

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

[Obsolete French aliéniste, psychiatrist : obsolete French aliéné, mentally ill (from past participle of aliéner, to estrange, make hostile, deprive of reason, from Old French, from Latin aliēnāre, to deprive of reason; see alienate) + French -iste, -ist (from Old French; see –ist).]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From French aliéniste, from aliéné, for insane

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

  • 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

  • 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 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

  • 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

Comments

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  • psychiater, psychiatrist

    March 18, 2011

  • Not what I was expecting.

    October 23, 2012

  • US Railway Assn. Standard Cipher Code, 1906; railroad telegraphers' shorthand for "Your agent has not settled".

    January 19, 2013

  • "The physician reading this mysterious letter was no ordinary doctor. He was the Honorable Gustav Scholer, head Coroner for the city of New York, and one of the era’s leading alienists—an arcane term for specialists who studied the mental pathology of those deemed “alienated” from society."

    -- "Peek Inside the Grisly, Salacious Case Files of NYC’s Head Coroner in the Early 1900s"

    by Luke Spencer (http://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/peek-inside-the-grisly-salacious-case-files-of-nycs-head-coroner-in-the-early-1900s)

    October 13, 2017