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(formerly) a doctor specializing in the treatment of mental illness.
an expert witness in a sanity trial.
Historical Examples

The case of Germany is a hospital case, a case for the alienist; the mania of grandeur, complemented by the mania of persecution.
The Pentecost of Calamity Owen Wister

The English poet’s plays are a perfect storehouse of examples for the alienist.
Iconoclasts James Huneker

I feel that she is likely to get an alienist in at any time.
Outside Inn Ethel M. Kelley

No doctor, no alienist, would have pronounced him mad, of course.
The Brightener C. N. Williamson

It is possible, however, that this very opinion may be a fixed idea or symptomatic eccentricity of the alienist himself.
The Criminal Prosecution and Capital Punishment of Animals Edmund P. Evans

And yet this is just what the jurist constantly demands of the alienist.
Studies in Forensic Psychiatry Bernard Glueck

Well, and Rodney straightened up and said, ‘Is that Randolph, the alienist!’
The Real Adventure Henry Kitchell Webster

They are the people of what the alienist calls the “idée fixe.”
Modern Religious Cults and Movements Gaius Glenn Atkins

Why might not Allonby have deceived him as to the alienist’s diagnosis?
The Early Short Fiction of Edith Wharton, Part 1 (of 10) Edith Wharton

M. Lélut knew the phenomenon among mystics whom he had observed in his practice as an ‘alienist’.
Cock Lane and Common-Sense Andrew Lang

(US) a psychiatrist who specializes in the legal aspects of mental illness
(obsolete) a person who practises alienism

“one who treats mental illness, ‘mad doctor,’ ” 1864, from French aliéniste, from alienation in the sense of “insanity, loss of mental faculty,” a sense attested in English from late 15c. (see alienate).

alienist al·ien·ist (āl’yə-nĭst, ā’lē-ə-)
A physician accepted by a court of law as an expert on the mental competence of principals or witnesses.


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