Definition of alienation in English:

alienation

noun

  • 1The state or experience of being alienated:

    ‘a sense of alienation from our environment’
    ‘unemployment may generate a sense of political alienation’
    • ‘Perhaps for all of them, the experience of exile led to a sense of alienation from their homeland, and to a growing feeling of pessimism about the prospects for change there.’
    • ‘They recounted years of frustration and alienation from being ignored despite worry, illness and death.’
    • ‘Like most kids, I had my own experience of alienation, but the urge to merge with the crowd was stronger than any sympathy I might have shared for another outcast.’
    • ‘Now think of some possible ways to link being gay, engaging in risk behaviors, experiencing hostility and alienation.’
    • ‘Alice experiences alienation and fear for herself and her family, all the while keeping a personal journal including the daily headlines.’
    • ‘This movie lacked the alienation and angst of the first.’
    • ‘We often felt, then, a profound sense of alienation from American culture and political life.’
    • ‘I think your analysis about the disconnection and alienation from communities and the consequences is spot on.’
    • ‘Not the least of her problems is her painful sense of alienation from life - an alienation, she realizes, that neither wild nor domestic animals seem to feel.’
    • ‘This situation of alienation is made worse by the ‘voucher system’ which applies to all refugees who, having no friends or relatives, are compelled to accept public housing.’
    • ‘The concept of the actor observing himself and experiencing alienation from the self is evident throughout the videotape.’
    • ‘This implies first, that women must begin to overcome the alienation from, and learn again to be one with their bodies.’
    • ‘From a more personal experience, I experienced alienation while visiting these clubs.’
    • ‘Walden, as a sign of our exile from nature, complements what is considered to be a modern alienation from the sacred as well.’
    • ‘Chan says the situations in the novel genuinely reflect his experience, particularly the feeling of alienation that his hero experiences daily.’
    • ‘This goes together with the complete absence of any sense of distance or alienation from the government they elected.’
    • ‘That's why it has excited our culture beyond any reasonable expectation: It helps to heal our alienation from our own experience.’
    • ‘These two feed on each other, the recollections of what is lost and the alienation from what is found.’
    • ‘A culture's excitement about the web is directly proportional to that culture's alienation from its everyday experience.’
    isolation, detachment, estrangement, distance, separation, severance, parting, division, divorce, cutting off, turning away, withdrawal
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    1. 1.1 (in Marxist theory) a condition of workers in a capitalist economy, resulting from a lack of identity with the products of their labour and a sense of being controlled or exploited.
      • ‘The heart of the dialectic lies in Hegel's theory of alienation.’
      • ‘Each chapter takes a detailed and wide-ranging look at aspects of Marxist theory such as alienation, oppression, the family and class struggle.’
      • ‘On thing Marx is known for is his theory of worker alienation.’
      • ‘But the rhetoric of Marxist exploitation and alienation does not speak to the needs of non-labourers, and may indeed oppose them.’
      • ‘Secondly, Marx was opposed to the state and figured that once capitalist relations of alienation were overthrown, there would be no need for a state any longer.’
    2. 1.2Psychiatry A state of depersonalization or loss of identity in which the self seems unreal, thought to be caused by difficulties in relating to society and the resulting prolonged inhibition of emotion.
      • ‘The teacher's certainty about his role, largely the result of alienation, asserts hierarchy.’
      • ‘Amotivation represents the lowest possible level of self-determination, as it implies a loss of personal control and alienation akin to learned helplessness.’
      • ‘In other words, they try to keep their addiction secret and suffer low self esteem and alienation as a result.’
      • ‘The result is alienation, depersonalization, and degradation of the human purpose.’
      • ‘More recently, Seeman suggested that normlessness and meaninglessness are manifestations of anomie rather than of alienation.’
    3. 1.3 An effect sought by some dramatists, whereby the audience remains objective and does not identify with the actors.
      • ‘The two works amply demonstrate ways in which the separation of voice and image can be used by a director to create alienation in the audience and to shift the balance of power between characters on screen.’
      • ‘In Henry V, the character of the Chorus serves as much to establish an effect of alienation as to plunge the audience into the fiction.’
      • ‘This was the theory of alienation whereby the audience, already familiar with the story line, does not get caught up with the narrative.’
      • ‘And, through that shock or that alienation effect, you're induced to rethink certain conditions.’
      • ‘As the process is reflected upon, an effect of Brechtian alienation occurs, and the naturalization of genre is dismantled.’
  • 2Law
    The transfer of the ownership of property rights:

    ‘most leases contain restrictions against alienation’
    • ‘First used to indicate the process of alienation of Church property to the state, it soon came to be applied to the loss of temporal power by the Church.’
    • ‘I think this Court has said on a couple of occasions that alienation is critical to ownership.’
    • ‘The covenant is concerned with alienation of the property.’
    • ‘Another example of alienation arises when one joint tenant charges his interest in the property.’
    • ‘I am not satisfied that an alienation or transfer of property, in and of itself, is a sufficient basis on which to imply a trust of that property.’
    transfer, conveyance, passing on, handing over, devolution
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Origin

Late Middle English: from Latin alienatio(n-), from the verb alienare estrange, from alienus (see alien). The term alienation effect (1940s) is a translation of German Verfremdungseffekt.

Pronunciation:

alienation

/eɪlɪəˈneɪʃ(ə)n/