A verb that means to separate something or someone from another thing or person. In another context, alienate might also mean handing over an asset or property to a new owner who might have bought it. You can use other words in the place of alienate: isolate, detach, and cut off. In the second context, the synonyms are: transfer and pass on.
Alienate is a word that originates from the word alien, which means a person who lives in a foreign land. In this modern-day, it is normal for people to move into a different country and live while enjoying all the rights and freedoms that a natural citizen enjoys. This is due to the diplomacy concept among almost all countries around the world, allowing immigration and emigration. The existence of documents like passports, VISAs, and Green Cards helps identify an alien enabling people to travel with ease.
To alienate is to make something or someone feel out of place from the rest of the environment. When you alienate someone, you isolate them from other people; you cultivate their foreign feelings; this would cut them off from their natural surroundings. To alienate something in business might mean to make it separate from other assets. For example, a product becomes damaged during transportation to a warehouse; once it arrives, you will separate the damaged item from the good ones.
In the second context, alienate means to legally pass on the ownership of a property or asset to a new owner who has rightfully earned the ownership. The new owner might have bought shares from a company and expects to receive their newly acquired assets. When you hand over the buyer’s newly acquired assets or stocks, the process is referred to as alienating. To alienate in this second context is very different from the first, and it applies to a business perspective more than the first one.
Example of Alienate
A client has placed an order in your company for a particular brand of cereal. But they do not want this special order to be mixed in with their normal monthly order. You will have to alienate the requested cereal from the rest before packaging. This shows that you intentionally separated the brand from the original mixture of different cereals to meet the order placed by the client. This is an instance where you would have alienated something from a set or group of something else.
Let’s take an example whereby you are the manager of a company that has planned to acquire more assets but has never identified good assets to invest in. After a long search, you find a worthy enough asset to buy in the form of shares in another company that you have a good association with. You will first approach your associates with a price to bid for the assets. After the negotiations are over and you agree on a reasonable price, you will pay the requested amount so that the company can hand them over.
After you have completed the payment, the step that follows is for the seller to hand over the assets to you. This step is what we can refer to as alienation of the assets to your company. After the alienation, the assets sold to you rightfully belong to you, and you would have acquired them legally. This shows that to alienate could also mean handing over the property to a new owner who has received it legally.
Significance of Alienate
To alienate helps in categorizing people or things in a given set. Alienation shows that you have intentionally separated something to show their differences. You can be able to tell the distinction between two things from the way they are categorized. Like the way, a passport can help the authorities identify a foreigner in another country.
Without alienation, all things would seem similar, and in the real sense, there are differences between them. To alienate also is relevant when you want to transfer ownership of property or assets from one person to another. Everything varies in nature with another, which proves that they stand out in a way from another. To alienate is used to show the distinction between two things.