alien


alien
alien
From the 14c to the 19c inclusive, alien as an adjective meaning ‘of nature or character different from’ was followed by from

• (This uncouth style, so alien from genuine English —H. Reed, 1855).

About the turn of the century, this construction gave way to one with to, by analogy with words like adverse, repugnant, and opposed, rather than different. The construction with to is now routine

• (Thinking, and certainly brooding, were quite alien to his character —J. C. Oates, 1980

• The implied snobbery of the remark was quite alien to the whole way in which she had been brought up —A. N. Wilson, 1982).

The construction with from still occurs from time to time

• (A reflection upon how far man has come to feel himself alien from the animal kingdom of which he is a member —A. Storr, 1968).


Modern English usage. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

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