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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
an alien concept (=an idea that is very strange or that does not exist)
▪ In many countries, queuing for a bus is an alien concept.
▪ No one can live on a diet of culture that is completely alien.
▪ Nevertheless, the notion of collective decision-making about patient care, about priorities and treatment options, is quite alien.
▪ But this concept is quite alien to Scripture.
▪ No small feat and something quite alien to ourselves, difficult to imagine.
▪ To this, fundamentalism as expressed in the articles is totally alien.
▪ It was totally alien to what I had experienced.
▪ Technical expressions which are in everyday usage within an occupational group, can be totally alien to outsiders.
▪ The reply, a weird breathing sound, and an unintelligible, totally alien jabbering.
▪ The skills needed for this kind of work are almost certainly totally alien to the average businessman.
▪ There was a professionalism and explosive expertise about the operation totally alien to the loyalist slap-dash, amateur bombers.
▪ The daleks in question are not enraged alien beings with full metal jackets.
▪ There was no alien spacecraft, and there were no alien beings and no secret autopsies in the desert in 1947.
▪ That was exactly how I felt, as if I had been brought up by alien beings, inhuman things.
▪ In short, he concluded without reservation that the canals were artificial constructs of technologically advanced alien beings.
▪ With a shrug, he shrugged off alien concepts such as responsibility, maturity, ambition and commitment.
▪ The idea of keeping appointments was an alien concept.
▪ Paved roads and mail deliveries are alien concepts.
▪ Travellers' contact with social work services frequently resulted in the loss of children into care and an alien culture.
▪ The latter had been undeveloped while I lived in alien cultures.
▪ But beyond those frontiers are alien cultures which impinge on our own for good or ill.
▪ He struggled for a moment to remember the rules for first contact with alien cultures.
▪ I craved the knowledge of what it would be like to attach myself to an alien culture for an extended period.
▪ They are depressing, alien environments, made more dismal by drab walls and endless corridors.
▪ The child wasn't wilting in an alien environment.
▪ In that alien environment, somehow it all makes sense.
▪ Meeting a group of complete strangers from backgrounds very different to my own, in such an alien environment, was disconcerting.
▪ Beam to another dimension, alien invaders.
▪ This great two-disc version of the alien invasion blockbuster is packed with extras.
▪ It's the most convincing evidence we have of an alien invasion of this planet, and a matter of public record.
▪ Work has already begun on felling alien species on the 750-hectare Glenmore reserve.
▪ Compared with them, the novel appears to be a creature from an alien species.
▪ I watched with interest - it was like observing the gyrations of an alien species, a praying mantis or something.
▪ Indeed the most dramatic example of mass extinction known to biology has been caused by the introduction of an alien species.
▪ Nor was its bare face the ethereally lovely, angular visage of that alien species.
▪ Tom caught my eye behind her back and winked to acknowledge my presence on alien territory.
▪ This was alien territory, very alien, even for me.
▪ It's similar to staggering shell-shocked in alien territory occupied solely by foreboding empty skyscrapers.
▪ His decision to send her away from her home and brother into an alien world was interpreted as rejection.
▪ As Blue begins to read, he feels as though he is entering an alien world.
▪ Four quiet windows on to an alien world.
▪ an alien spaceship
▪ Entire groups were driven from their homes to alien regions.
▪ A parliament possessing real power is alien to the country's every tradition.
▪ An alien object was threatening the organism.
▪ By this time, I should not feel alien.
▪ His decision to send her away from her home and brother into an alien world was interpreted as rejection.
▪ It is the people of this world who are alien.
▪ To the rest of Britain, such behavior is not only alien, but alienating.
▪ Demonstrations throughout the city have focused on immigration and an calling for an amnesty for illegal aliens.
▪ It is the United States that has suffered from millions of impoverished, illegal aliens coming across the lengthy border.
▪ Border Patrol agents there stopped northbound cars and trucks to search for illegal aliens and drugs.
▪ In 1994, voters there approved Proposition 187, which restricts education, health and other state services to illegal aliens.
▪ John Fife, were found guilty in federal court of transporting illegal aliens, conspiracy and other charges.
▪ The illegal aliens are entitled to this.
▪ At issue is a provision in the 1986 immigration bill barring the hiring of illegal aliens.
▪ They actually seem more like space aliens than angels, and maybe they are.
▪ Sightings of space aliens persist, with several organized groups claiming to have seen them, or even to have been abducted.
▪ Some aliens may qualify for citizenship under the new law.
▪ The law makes it easier to find and deport illegal aliens.
▪ These people believe they were kidnapped by aliens.
▪ Apparently we have made contact with aliens!
▪ I have a boss who is an alien from another planet.
▪ In 1994, voters there approved Proposition 187, which restricts education, health and other state services to illegal aliens.
▪ Intrigued, the aliens monitored the few lyrics they could hear rising up from this outdoor roller ritual.
▪ Let's say that as an alien you arrive in your space-ship, have a bumpy landing and succumb to amnesia.
▪ The rest of the aliens look at me, look at each other, look down at their food.
▪ They didn't look ready for aliens.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Alien \Al"ien\, n.

  1. 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.

  2. One excluded from certain privileges; one alienated or estranged; as, aliens from God's mercies.

    Aliens from the common wealth of Israel.
    --Ephes. ii. 12.


Alien \Al"ien\, a. [OF. alien, L. alienus, fr. alius another; properly, therefore, belonging to another. See Else.]

  1. Not belonging to the same country, land, or government, or to the citizens or subjects thereof; foreign; as, alien subjects, enemies, property, shores.

  2. Wholly different in nature; foreign; adverse; inconsistent (with); incongruous; -- followed by from or sometimes by to; as, principles alien from our religion.

    An alien sound of melancholy.

    Alien enemy (Law), one who owes allegiance to a government at war with ours.


Alien \Al"ien\, v. t. [F. ali['e]ner, L. alienare.] To alienate; to estrange; to transfer, as property or ownership. [R.] ``It the son alien lands.''
--Sir M. Hale.

The prince was totally aliened from all thoughts of . . . the marriage.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

mid-14c., "strange, foreign," from Old French alien "alien, strange, foreign; an alien, stranger, foreigner," from Latin alienus "of or belonging to another, foreign, alien, strange," also, as a noun, "a stranger, foreigner," adjectival form of alius "(an)other" (see alias (adv.)). Meaning "not of the Earth" first recorded 1920. An alien priory (c.1500) is one owing obedience to a mother abbey in a foreign country.


"foreigner, citizen of a foreign land," from alien (adj.). In the science fiction sense, from 1953.

  1. 1 Pertaining to an alien. 2 Not belonging to the same country, land, or government, or to the citizens or subjects thereof; foreign. 3 Very unfamiliar, strange, or removed. n. 1 A person, animal, plant, or other thing which is from outside the family, group, organization, or territory under consideration. 2 A foreigner residing in a country. 3 Any life form of extraterrestrial origin. 4 One excluded from certain privileges; one alienated or estranged. v

  2. 1 (context transitive English) To estrange; to alienate. 2 (context legal English) To transfer the ownership of something.

  1. adj. 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. n. 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]

  4. v. transfer property or ownership; "The will aliened the property to the heirs" [syn: alienate]

  5. arouse hostility or indifference in where there had formerly been love, affection, or friendliness [syn: estrange, alienate, disaffect]


Alien or Aliens may refer to:

  • Extraterrestrial life, life which does not originate from Earth
    • Specifically, intelligent extraterrestrial beings. See List of alleged extraterrestrial beings.
  • Alien (law), a person in a country who is not a national of that country
Alien (creature in Alien franchise)

The "Alien" (also referred to as a "xenomorph") is a fictional endoparasitoid extraterrestrial species that is the eponymous antagonist of the Alien film series. The species made its debut in the film Alien (1979), and reappeared in the sequels Aliens (1986), Alien 3 (1992), and Alien: Resurrection (1997), as well as the crossover franchise Alien vs. Predator (2004) and Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem (2007). A similar creature of a slightly different design also briefly appears in the Ridley Scott film Prometheus (2012). In addition, the Alien appears in various literature and video game spin-offs from the franchises.

Unlike many other extraterrestrial races in science fiction, the Aliens are not "tool-makers"; they lack a technological civilization and are predatory creatures with no higher goals than the propagation of their species and the ultimate destruction of lifeforms that could pose a threat to them. Like wasps or termites, Aliens are eusocial, with a single fertile queen breeding a caste of warriors, workers, or other specialists strains. The Aliens' biological life cycle involves traumatic implantation of endoparasitoid larvae inside living hosts; these larvae erupt from the host's chest, orifices or intestines after a short incubation period, rapidly mature from juvenile into adulthood within hours, and seek out more hosts for implantation.

The Alien design is credited to Swiss surrealist and artist H. R. Giger, originating in a lithograph titled Necronom IV and refined for the series' first film, Alien. The practical effects for the Alien's head were designed and constructed by Italian special effects designer Carlo Rambaldi. The species' design and life cycle have been extensively augmented, sometimes inconsistently, throughout each film.

Alien (law)

In law, an alien is a person who resides within the borders of a country and is not a national of that country, though definitions and terminology differs to some degree.

Alien (software)

Alien is a computer program that converts between different Linux package formats, written by Joey Hess.

Alien (Strapping Young Lad album)

Alien is the fourth studio album by Canadian extreme metal band Strapping Young Lad. It was released on March 22, 2005. The album was written by Devin Townsend and Gene Hoglan over a six-month time period.

The album reached No. 32 on the Billboard Heatseekers chart and No. 35 on the Top Independent Albums chart. "Love?" became the album's single and had a music video which aired on Headbanger's Ball. The video (a tribute to the movie The Evil Dead) depicts the band performing in a haunted cabin in the woods.

Alien (literary concept)

The alien is a device used in literature to signify elements foreign, ignored, repressed, or marginalized in a given society. The alien can also offer an outside perspective, illuminating the complexities or exposing the hypocrisies and irrationalities in a set of social norms.

In literature, Shakespeare's Shylock in The Merchant of Venice and Mary Shelley's monster in Frankenstein are classic examples of the alien. Numerous other examples abound in subsequent literature and film, such as Mersault in Albert Camus' The Outsider and Sarah Woodruff in John Fowles' The French Lieutenant's Woman.

In American television, the character of Spock on Star Trek presented a celebrated example of the alien.

Alien (franchise)

Alien is a science-fiction horror film franchise centered on a film series that depicts Warrant Officer Ellen Ripley ( Sigourney Weaver) and her battles with an extraterrestrial lifeform, commonly referred to as "the Alien" or " Xenomorph".

Produced by 20th Century Fox, the series began with Alien (1979), directed by Ridley Scott. It was followed by three sequels, released in 1986, 1992 and 1997. A prequel series directed by Scott is in development, beginning with the 2012 release of Prometheus.

The series has led to numerous books, comics and video game spin-offs. Related to the franchise is the Alien vs. Predator franchise, which combines the continuities of the Alien franchise with the Predator franchise, consisting of two films, and varying series of comics, books, and video games.

Alien (Pennywise song)

"Alien" is a single released by the punk rock band Pennywise from their 1999 album Straight Ahead. The song reached number 36 on the Modern Rock Tracks in July 1999.

Alien (soundtrack)

The iconic, avant-garde score to the film Alien was composed by Jerry Goldsmith and is considered by some to be one of his best, most visceral scores. Rather than focusing on themes, Goldsmith creates a bleak and dissonant soundscape that fits the film's dark and intense atmosphere, with only a few "romantic" cues.

Alien (band)

Alien is a Swedish rock and metal band formed in Gothenburg in 1986 by guitarist Tony Borg and vocalist Jim Jidhed. They are best known today for their single " Only One Woman", a cover of a Marbles song, and " Brave New Love", which was featured in the end credits of the 1988 remake of The Blob.

Alien (shipping company)

Alien is a Russian company that owns and maintains passenger services and moored vessels in and around St. Petersburg. The company operates 22 boats, including hydrofoils, and the three-masted frigate Kronverk, maintained as a restaurant.

Alien (1984 video game)

Alien is a hybrid strategy/ adventure video game developed by Concept Software and published by Argus Press Software for the Commodore 64 and ZX Spectrum in 1984, and later ported for the Amstrad CPC in 1985. It is based on the science fiction horror film Alien.

Alien (film)

Alien is a 1979 British-American science-fiction horror film directed by Ridley Scott, and starring Tom Skerritt, Sigourney Weaver, Veronica Cartwright, Harry Dean Stanton, John Hurt, Ian Holm and Yaphet Kotto. The film's title refers to a highly aggressive extraterrestrial creature that stalks and kills the crew of a spaceship. Dan O'Bannon wrote the screenplay from a story he wrote with Ronald Shusett, drawing influence from previous works of science fiction and horror. The film was produced by Gordon Carroll, David Giler and Walter Hill through their Brandywine Productions and distributed by 20th Century Fox. Giler and Hill made revisions and additions to the script. Shusett was executive producer. The eponymous Alien and its accompanying elements were designed by Swiss surrealist artist H. R. Giger, while concept artists Ron Cobb and Chris Foss designed the human aspects of the film. Alien launched the Alien franchise and is chronologically the first of the main series, with the prequel series set in an earlier timeframe.

Alien received both critical acclaim and box office success, receiving an Academy Award for Best Visual Effects, Saturn Awards for Best Science Fiction Film, Best Direction for Scott, and Best Supporting Actress for Cartwright, and a Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation, along with numerous other award nominations. It has remained highly praised in subsequent decades, being considered one of the greatest films of all time. In 2002 the film was deemed "culturally, historically or aesthetically significant" by the Library of Congress and was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry. In 2008, it was ranked as the seventh-best film in the science fiction genre by the American Film Institute, and as the 33rd greatest film of all time by Empire magazine.

The success of Alien spawned a media franchise of novels, comic books, video games, and toys. It also launched Weaver's acting career by providing her with her first lead role, and the story of her character Ripley's encounters with the Alien creatures became the thematic thread that ran through the sequels Aliens (1986), Alien 3 (1992) and Alien: Resurrection (1997). A prequel series, which includes Prometheus (2012) and Alien: Covenant (2017), continues in development.

Alien (Britney Spears song)

"Alien" is a song by American recording artist Britney Spears for her eighth studio album Britney Jean (2013). It was written and produced by William Orbit, Ana Diaz, and Dan Traynor, with additional songwriting provided by Spears,and Anthony Prestonz. "Alien" is a mid-tempo dance-pop song, which lyrically discusses Spears' feelings of loneliness. "Alien" received acclaim from music critics, who appreciated its production and recognized it as being among the more personal offerings from the record. The track peaked at number 8 on the U.S Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles and debuted at 147 on the French Singles Chart despite not being a single from Britney Jean. The track has been performed during Spears' ongoing residency show Britney: Piece of Me.

Alien (sculpture)

Alien is a 2012 sculpture by the British artist David Breuer-Weil. It depicts a giant humanoid figure five times as large as a person, embedded head-first in grass. The sculpture was first installed in Grosvenor Gardens in the City of Westminster in April 2013, as part of the City of Sculpture initiative. In September 2015 it was moved to the National Trust property of Mottisfont in Hampshire.

The work is executed in glass reinforced plastic with a bronze powder coat. It was scaled up from a much smaller maquette and incorporates hugely enlarged versions of the artist's fingerprints as well as his own graffiti. It was inspired in part by Breuer-Weil's grandfather Ernst, who fled to England after the Nazi takeover of Austria in 1938 but subsequently found himself labelled an " enemy alien". In acknowledgement of the link, the name "Ernst" is written in large letters on the surface of the sculpture. The sculpture also incorporates a portrait of the fictional Kaiser of Nerac, a character who rules an imaginary world conceived of by Breuer-Weil as a source of inspiration for his artworks.

According to Breuer-Weil, Alien is intended to evoke "the shock of an alien landing in the heart of London and taking everybody by surprise"; he comments that "every new work of art should be like an alien landing, something sudden and unexpected." The sculpture is meant to be more about "our sense of belonging than any sci-fi theme", but Breuer-Weil suggests that "extra-terrestrials are completely human, maybe just different in scale, as is the case with my sculpture, which is five times the size of an ordinary person, but very human otherwise." He notes that to a certain degree, being Jewish is like "landing on an alien planet ... We belong in this culture, but our forebears crash-landed into it."

The work was well received by the public and critics, being named as one of Time Out's "Top 10 Public Sculptures" in July 2013. Permission was initially granted for the piece to be on display at Grosvenor Gardens for a period of six months and a subsequent application was made to extend its appearance for a further 18 months. This was approved by Westminster City Council and the statue remained there until 13 April 2015. It was then moved to the grounds of Mottisfont in Hampshire, where it was unveiled on 7 September 2015.

Usage examples of "alien".

B-39 Peacemaker force has been tasked by SIOP with maintaining an XK-Pluto capability directed at ablating the ability of the Russians to activate Project Koschei, the dormant alien entity they captured from the Nazis at the end of the last war.

Federal authorities obtained a murder warrant yesterday against fugitive Glenn Alien Abies in the shooting death of Deputy U.

Glenn Alien Abies and Charles Mellis are charged with serious crimes and pose an immediate threat to the community.

Some of it could be produced in the aeroponics bay, but the majority had to be foraged from the surfaces of alien planets.

It was mainly in condemnation of the Alien and Sedition Laws, then so unpopular everywhere, that these resolutions were professedly fulminated, but they gave to the agitating Free Traders a States-Rights-Secession-weapon of which they quickly availed themselves.

Professor Agrest, a Russian physicist, also maintains that a strange rock platform in Lebanon, whose origin and original purpose have baffled archeologists and geologists for several years, was constructed by aliens as a launching pad.

Long time ago, some other aliens bring Om and allas to the Metamartian race, and now we bring Om and allas to you.

It was obvious that Amaryllis was, in her own way, as alien to him as the ancient artifacts.

His bold cheekbones, aggressive nose, and strong jaw were as exotic, compelling, and mysterious to Amaryllis as the alien artifacts themselves.

The amelioration promised to aliens and to future Americans was to possess its moral and social aspects.

It was a scene from a vision of Fuseli, and over all the rest reigned that riot of luminous amorphousness, that alien and undimensioned rainbow of cryptic poison from the well--seething, feeling, lapping, reaching, scintillating, straining, and malignly bubbling in its cosmic and unrecognizable chromaticism.

Chakans were reputable fighters known for the simplicity of their tactics and sophistication of their equipment, yet a few moments of apocalyptic alien fury had obliterated ships and soldiers as thoroughly as moths in a volcano.

The pronunciation was barbarously alien, whilst the idiom seemed to include both scraps of curious archaism and expressions of a wholly incomprehensible cast.

Even at that hour Arling Avenue might have been awake to the intrusion of an alien car of rather noticeable proportions.

He glanced about, at the cage, the obliviously moving aliens, at the slick sheen of mercury-like substance that covered the armature of the birdcage.