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adjective al·ter·na·tive \ȯl-ˈtər-nə-tiv, al-\

Simple Definition of alternative

  • : offering or expressing a choice

  • : not usual or traditional

  • : existing or functioning outside of the established society

Full Definition of alternative

  1. 1 :  alternate 1

  2. 2 :  offering or expressing a choice <several alternative plans>

  3. 3 :  different from the usual or conventional: as a :  existing or functioning outside the established cultural, social, or economic system <an alternative newspaper> <alternative lifestyles> b :  of, relating to, or being rock music that is regarded as an alternative to conventional rock and is typically influenced by punk rock, hard rock, hip-hop, or folk music c :  of or relating to alternative medicine <alternative therapies>

al·ter·na·tive·ly adverb
al·ter·na·tive·ness noun

Examples of alternative

  1. Scientists are developing an alternative approach to treating the disease.

  2. He developed an alternative design for the new engine.


First Known Use of alternative




noun al·ter·na·tive

Simple Definition of alternative

  • : something that can be chosen instead of something else : a choice or option

Full Definition of alternative

  1. 1 a :  a proposition or situation offering a choice between two or more things only one of which may be chosen b :  an opportunity for deciding between two or more courses or propositions

  2. 2 a :  one of two or more things, courses, or propositions to be chosen b :  something which can be chosen instead <the only alternative to intervention>

  3. 3 :  alternative rock music

Examples of alternative

  1. We decided to leave since our only other alternative was to wait in the rain.

  2. I was offered no alternative.

  3. The menu offered several vegetarian alternatives.


First Known Use of alternative


Synonym Discussion of alternative

choice, option, alternative, preference, selection, election mean the act or opportunity of choosing or the thing chosen. choice suggests the opportunity or privilege of choosing freely <freedom of choice>. option implies a power to choose that is specifically granted or guaranteed <the option of paying now or later>. alternative implies a need to choose one and reject another possibility <equally attractive alternatives>. preference suggests a choice guided by one's judgment or predilections <a preference for cool weather>. selection implies a range of choice <a varied selection of furniture>. election implies an end or purpose which requires exercise of judgment <doing a tax return forces certain elections on you>.

choice, exquisite, elegant, rare, delicate, dainty mean having qualities that appeal to a cultivated taste. choice stresses preeminence in quality or kind <choice fabric>. exquisite implies a perfection in workmanship or design that appeals only to very sensitive taste <an exquisite gold bracelet>. elegant applies to what is rich and luxurious but restrained by good taste <a sumptuous but elegant dining room>. rare suggests an uncommon excellence <rare beauty>. delicate implies exquisiteness, subtlety, and fragility <delicate craftsmanship>. dainty sometimes carries an additional suggestion of smallness and of appeal to the eye or palate <dainty sandwiches>.

Medical Dictionary


adjective al·ter·na·tive \ȯl-ˈtər-nət-iv, al-\

Medical Definition of alternative

  1. :  of, relating to, or based on alternative medicine <alternative therapies>

Seen and Heard

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February 8, 2016

to clear from accusation or blame

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