Open main menu

Wiktionary β




Alternative formsEdit


Possibly a calque of the Russian остранение (ostranenie) as used by Viktor Shklovsky.


  • (UK) IPA(key): /diːfəˌmɪljəɹaɪˈzeɪʃən/


defamiliarisation (plural defamiliarisations)

  1. (art) The representation of objects anew, in a way that we do not recognize, or that changes our reading of them.
    • 1991, Antony Easthope, Literary Into Cultural Studies[1]:
      It therefore works via a process of ‘defamiliarisation’ (ostranenie) (Shklovsky instances defamiliarisation as an effect to be found in riddles with their play on words, and in euphemistic references to erotic subjects).
    • 1991, Brian A. Connery, “Inside Jokes: Familiarity and Contempt in Academic Satire,” in University Fiction, David Bevan, ed. [2]
      Fourth, and finally, while postmodernist works like Lodge’s Changing Places and Small World give the impression of being satires, because of their self-conscious and rather thick use of parody as a means to defamiliarisation, along with their presentation of a humorous world, the satirical attack is actually deflected or blunted by the parody.
    • 1996, Andrew Bowie, From Romanticism to Critical Theory[3]:
      The fact that defamiliarisation need not be understood solely in linguistic terms is evident in all kinds of aesthetic experience: for example, a painting or a piece of music can also be understood as ‘defamiliarising’ habitual perceptions.