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 (āl′yə-nĭst, ā′lē-ə-)
A physician who evaluates the competence of defendants to stand trial.

[Obsolete French aliéniste, psychiatrist : obsolete French aliéné, mentally ill (from past participle of aliéner, to estrange, make hostile, deprive of reason, from Old French, from Latin aliēnāre, to deprive of reason; see alienate) + French -iste, -ist (from Old French; see -ist).]


(ˈeɪljənɪst; ˈeɪlɪə-)
1. (Psychiatry) US a psychiatrist who specializes in the legal aspects of mental illness
2. (Psychiatry) obsolete a person who practises alienism


(ˌeɪl yə nɪst, ˌeɪ li ə-)

1. (formerly) a physician specializing in the treatment of mental illness; psychiatrist.
2. an expert witness in a sanity trial.
[1860–65; alien (ation) + -ist; compare French aliéniste]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.alienist - a psychiatrist and specialist in the legal aspects of mental illnessalienist - a psychiatrist and specialist in the legal aspects of mental illness
head-shrinker, psychiatrist, shrink - a physician who specializes in psychiatry


[ˈeɪljənɪst] N (US) → alienista mf
References in classic literature ?
Alienists, who study the matter exactly, probably know more of human vanity and its effects than do ordinary men.
Elizabeth's Hospital in the next episode of "The Alienist.
With a "VLT" logo handbag and in a bright blue pleated shoulder-less Valentino gown that matched her eyes, the 24-year-old actress said she was taking it easy this year with the success of the historic crime drama "The Alienist," in which she stars and is currently airing in the US.
I've reviewed plenty of shows that are OK-to-fine ("The Alienist," "The Chi," "The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story"), but none had me rearranging my highly regimented viewing schedule.
Kreizler is a psychologist " or, in the vernacular of the time, an alienist " who uses his training to crack cases by putting himself into the mind of a killer, while Moore is a New York Times illustrator.
Meanwhile, Robert's friend William (Mathew Baynton), a nervy alienist (that's a psychiatrist to you and me), finds himself treating Robert's alluring wife Caroline (Lydia Leonard), leaving him conflicted.
12) Fear of degeneration drew on a theory laid out by the French alienist Benedict-Augustin Morel in his Traite des degenerescences physiques, intellectuelles et morales de l'espece humaine (Treatise on Physical, Intellectual, and Moral Degeneration of the Human Race) of 1857.
The roster features nearly 1,000 hours of scripted and unscripted series and specials, including the hotly anticipated TNT dramas Animal Kingdom this summer, Good Behavior in the fall and The Alienist, Tales from the Crypt; TBS's new comedies Wrecked, Search Party and People of Earth; a new three-hour daily program on HLN to be hosted by seasoned journalist Michaela Pereira; and the newly announced projects from Adult Swim, CNN and truTV.
The French Psychiatric School, whose first representative was Esquirol, describes suicide from the point of view of "the alienist," maintaining that those who commit this act suffer from a mental illness (Scheps 1998).
The Scribe is a powerful, elaborate page-turner, perfect for fans of everything from Caleb Carr's The Alienist to Cormac McCarthy's Blood Meridian.
writes obnoxious notes to white boys in his company all sorts of vile acts depraved and this very condition somewhat of a "drawing card" among the boys fit subject for an alienist.
It depends, just as with a finger-print expert or an alienist, upon whether or not we have specialized in that particular field.