From Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search
See also: inaliénable



Borrowed around 1645 from French inaliénable, from in- + aliénable (alienable).


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ɪˈneɪ.lɪ.ə.nə.bəl/
  • (US) IPA(key): /ɪˈneɪ.li.ə.nə.bəl/
  • (file)


inalienable (not comparable)

  1. Incapable of being alienated, surrendered, or transferred to another; not alienable.
    An inalienable right is a right that cannot be given away
    • 1838 (date written), L[etitia] E[lizabeth] L[andon], chapter XX, in Lady Anne Granard; or, Keeping up Appearances. [], volume I, London: Henry Colburn, [], published 1842, →OCLC, page 252:
      "Know thy own worth, and reverence the lyre," is a line that should be as a fillet bound round the brow—a philactory embroidered on the garments of every son and daughter of Adam distinguished by the possession of that sacred gift, which, whether used or abused, applauded in itself or derided in its possessor, is the highest and the most inalienable distinction humanity ever has or ever can be gifted with, whether bestowed on the highest or the humblest being, in the great mass to which we all belong.
  2. (grammar) Of or pertaining to a noun belonging to a special class in which the possessive construction differs from the norm, especially for particular familial relationships and body parts.

Usage notes[edit]

While inalienable and unalienable are today used interchangeably (with inalienable the more common) the terms have historically sometimes been distinguished.[1]



  • (antonym(s) of incapable of being alienated): alienable



  1. ^ “Unalienable” vs. “Inalienable”, Alfred Adask, Adask’s law, July 15, 2009, 3:56 PM



  • IPA(key): /inaljeˈnable/ [ˈna.β̞le]
  • Rhymes: -able
  • Syllabification: i‧na‧lie‧na‧ble


inalienable m or f (masculine and feminine plural inalienables)

  1. inalienable

Derived terms[edit]

Further reading[edit]