Dictionary

1alternate

adjective al·ter·nate \US & Canada ˈl-tər-nət also ˈal-; chiefly British l-ˈtər-\

: occurring in or forming a repeated series

—used to describe something that happens one time, does not happen the next time, happens again, etc.

: other than the usual

Full Definition of ALTERNATE

1
:  occurring or succeeding by turns <a day of alternate sunshine and rain>
2
a :  arranged first on one side and then on the other at different levels or points along an axial line <alternate leaves> — compare opposite
b :  arranged one above or alongside the other
3
:  every other :  every second <he works on alternate days>
4
:  constituting an alternative <took the alternate route home>
5
:  alternative 3
al·ter·nate·ly adverb

Examples of ALTERNATE

  1. Alternate shades of wood formed a pattern around the window.
  2. We took an alternate route because of the traffic.
  3. Due to an emergency, the plane landed at an alternate airport.

Origin of ALTERNATE

Latin alternatus, past participle of alternare, from alternus alternate, from alter
First Known Use: 1513

2alternate

verb al·ter·nate \ˈl-tər-ˌnāt also ˈal-\

: to place or do (different things) so that one follows the other in a repeated series

al·ter·nat·edal·ter·nat·ing

Full Definition of ALTERNATE

transitive verb
1
:  to perform by turns or in succession
2
:  to cause to alternate
intransitive verb
:  to change from one to another repeatedly <rain alternated with sun>

Examples of ALTERNATE

  1. The poem alternates fear and hope.
  2. The light and dark woods alternate to form an elegant pattern around the window.

First Known Use of ALTERNATE

1599

3alternate

noun al·ter·nate \same as 1\

: someone who is chosen to take another person's place if that person is not able to be present or to do a required job

Full Definition of ALTERNATE

2
:  one that substitutes for or alternates with another

Examples of ALTERNATE

  1. The town has elected five councilors and two alternates.

First Known Use of ALTERNATE

1717
ALTERNATES Defined for Kids

1alternate

adjective al·ter·nate \ˈl-tər-nət\

Definition of ALTERNATE for Kids

1
:  occurring or following by turns <alternate sunshine and rain>
2
:  arranged one above, beside, or next to another <alternate layers of cake and filling>
3
:  every other :  every second <We meet on alternate days.>
al·ter·nate·ly adverb

2alternate

verb al·ter·nate \ˈl-tər-ˌnāt\
al·ter·nat·edal·ter·nat·ing

Definition of ALTERNATE for Kids

:  to take place or cause to take place by turns <She alternated between running and lifting weights.>

3alternate

noun al·ter·nate \ˈl-tər-nət\

Definition of ALTERNATE for Kids

:  a person named to take the place of another whenever necessary <They were chosen as alternates to attend the convention.>

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