- A specialist in the study of mental illness; a psychiatrist.
- In the 19th century, a medical expert who determined whether a person was insane.
Late 18th century; earliest use found in james boswell (1740–1795), biographer and diarist. from french aliéniste, from aliéné + -iste.
- The alienist studied the patient's behavior and found that he was indeed suffering from a severe mental illness.
- In the 19th century, the job of an alienist was to determine whether an accused criminal was sane enough to stand trial.
- The alienist carefully observed the patient's symptoms and came to the conclusion that he needed to be institutionalized.
- The alienist was a well-respected expert in his field, known for his compassionate and insightful approach to mental health.
- Many of the early theories of mental illness were developed by alienists, who worked tirelessly to understand the nature of psychological disorders.