To estrange people may sound like adding wobbly antennae and an extra eyeball to their faces. Really, estrange means to push apart people who were once close to each other and cause them to be like strangers.

The verb estrange comes from the Old French estranger, "to treat like a stranger.” Estrange is often used when talking about family members who are no longer in contact with each other. You can also speak about wanting to estrange the neighbor’s dog from your flowerbed or a writer who estranges her readers by using too many big words. If you're looking for a synonym that is less “strange” but more “alien,” try alienate.

Definitions of estrange
  1. verb
    remove from customary environment or associations
    “years of boarding school estranged the child from her home”
    see moresee less
    type of:
    move out, remove, take out
    cause to leave
  2. verb
    arouse hostility or indifference in where there had formerly been love, affection, or friendliness
    synonyms: alien, alienate, disaffect
    see moresee less
    drift apart, drift away
    lose personal contact over time
    detach the affections of
    type of:
    alter, change, modify
    cause to change; make different; cause a transformation
Word Family

Test prep from the experts

Boost your test score with programs developed by’s experts.

  • Proven methods: Learn faster, remember longer with our scientific approach.
  • Personalized plan: We customize your experience to maximize your learning.
  • Strategic studying: Focus on the words that are most crucial for success.


  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 8 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week


  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 10 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week