Definition of ALIENATION


Alienation is a noun refers to the state of being isolated, estranged, or disconnected from society, one’s surroundings, or oneself. It can also denote a feeling of separation or disaffection from the norms, values, or social relationships of a community or culture. Here are several key aspects of alienation:

Isolation and Estrangement: Alienation often involves a sense of isolation or estrangement from one’s surroundings, including social relationships, institutions, or environments. This can manifest as feelings of loneliness, detachment, or disconnection from others, leading to a perceived lack of belonging or acceptance.

Disconnection from Society: In a broader sense, alienation can encompass a feeling of disconnection or detachment from society as a whole, including its cultural, political, or economic structures. Individuals experiencing alienation may perceive themselves as outsiders or marginalized within their communities, unable to relate to or participate fully in societal norms or activities.

Loss of Identity: Alienation may also entail a loss of identity or sense of self, where individuals feel estranged from their own thoughts, emotions, or values. This can result from internal conflicts, trauma, or societal pressures that erode one’s sense of autonomy, authenticity, or purpose in life.

Roots in Modern Society: Alienation has been widely discussed in sociological and philosophical contexts, particularly in relation to modern industrialized societies where individuals may feel disconnected from their labor, commodified as objects, or overwhelmed by the pace of technological and social change. Critics argue that alienation is exacerbated by factors such as economic inequality, social fragmentation, and cultural homogenization.

In summary, alienation encompasses feelings of isolation, estrangement, and disconnection from society, one’s surroundings, or oneself. Whether stemming from interpersonal relationships, societal structures, or internal conflicts, alienation reflects a profound sense of separation or disaffection that can impact individuals’ well-being, identity, and sense of belonging in the world.

Examples of ALIENATION in a sentence

  • The persistent workplace alienation left her feeling disconnected and demotivated.
  • Social media, despite its intent to connect people, can sometimes contribute to a sense of alienation.
  • Experiencing alienation from one’s cultural roots can lead to an identity crisis.
  • In the fast-paced modern world, many individuals grapple with a growing sense of alienation from traditional values.
  • The protagonist in the novel struggled with alienation as he navigated a society that seemed indifferent to his ideals.
  • The protagonist’s journey through the unfamiliar city was marked by a profound sense of alienation.
  • His constant traveling for work led to feelings of alienation from his family and friends.
  • The disconnect between employees and management contributed to a pervasive sense of alienation in the workplace.
  • The rapid urbanization of the area resulted in the alienation of traditional rural communities.


The term alienation has a nuanced etymological journey, reflecting its evolution from Latin roots to its contemporary usage in English.

  • Latin Origins: The term alienation traces its roots back to the Latin word “alienatio,” derived from “alienare,” meaning “to transfer” or “to estrange.” In Latin, “alienare” was constructed from “alienus,” which denotes “belonging to another” or “foreign.”
  • Transition through Old French: The Latin term “alienatio” was passed into Old French as “alienacion,” maintaining its sense of transferring ownership or estrangement.
  • Integration into Middle English: During the Middle English period, the Old French “alienacion” was adopted into English as “alienacioun,” which evolved into the modern spelling alienation. In English, it retained its original Latin and Old French meanings of transferring ownership, as well as the sense of estrangement or detachment.

From its Latin origins through its passage into Old French and subsequent integration into Middle English, the term alienation encompasses notions of transferring ownership, as well as feelings of estrangement or detachment from oneself or society.


  • Isolation
  • Estrangement
  • Disconnection
  • Detachment
  • Solitude
  • Loneliness
  • Segregation
  • Withdrawal


  • Connection
  • Inclusion
  • Attachment
  • Engagement
  • Integration
  • Involvement
  • Association
  • Affiliation


  • Alienation
  • Disaffection
  • Indifference
  • Separation
  • Divorce
  • Unfamiliar
  • Aloneness
  • Distancing

🌐 🇬🇧 ALIENATION in other languages

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