I. verb — [with obj.] 1. make (someone) feel isolated or estranged • an urban environment which would alienate its inhabitants
• (as adj. alienated)
an alienated, angst-ridden twenty-two-year-old.
2. make (someone) become unsympathetic or hostile • the association does not wish to alienate its members.
[Law] transfer ownership of (property rights) to another person or group.
• they defended the Masai against attempts to alienate their land.
II. phrases alienate someone’s affections
[US Law] induce someone to transfer their affection from a person (such as a spouse) with legal rights or claims on them.
• he sued him for alienating his wife’s affections.
– origin early 16th cent.: from Latin alienat- ‘estranged’, from the verb alienare, from alienus ‘of another’ (see alien).