al·​ter·​a·​tion | \ ˌȯl-tə-ˈrā-shən How to pronounce alteration (audio) \
plural alterations

Definition of alteration

1 : the act or process of altering something The dress needs alteration for a proper fit. : the state of being altered
2 : the result of changing or altering something: such as
a : a change made in fitting a garment no charge for alterations
b : a change in a legal instrument that alters its legal effect She made some alterations to her will.
c : a mineral that has been altered by a chemical process : metasomatism

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Examples of alteration in a Sentence

the alteration of the pattern They did a good job on the dress alteration. He made alterations in his will.
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Recent Examples on the Web The alteration to this elimination is that one teammate has to climb over the walls while the other teammate punches through the door and passes through. Kyndall Cunningham, Vulture, "The Challenge: All Stars Recap: The Blame Game," 30 Apr. 2021 As a result, there are fewer alteration jobs for the itinerant tailors who stride around residential areas, sewing machine hoisted on a shoulder, clinking a pair of scissors to advertise their services. New York Times, "How Working From Home Changed Wardrobes Around the World," 15 Apr. 2021 The biggest concern for frogs and toads in Wisconsin remains habitat loss and alteration, Badje said. Paul A. Smith, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Smith: The sounds of Wisconsin’s frogs and toads in spring could become your favorite album, too," 31 Mar. 2021 The most significant alteration would be the rebuilding of the elevated catwalk leading to the chapel. Mark Lamster, Dallas News, "Why Dallas should be grateful for a Thanks-Giving Square makeover," 18 Mar. 2021 China soon implied that BCI had received some USAID funding – and that funding might have encouraged an alteration of the world’s viewpoint (against Xinjiang). Rick Helfenbein, Forbes, "When China Rings The Bell In Xinjiang - Retail Crumbles," 12 Apr. 2021 There should be no tugging or pulling, no need for alteration. Janelle Okwodu, Vogue, "With Her Size-Inclusive 11 Honoré Collection, Lena Dunham Introduces a New Character," 7 Apr. 2021 The VisionAware website from the APH ConnectCenter offers a directory of services and articles for those with low vision or blindness and allows alteration of the site’s contrast level and font size for easier reading. Stephanie Breijo, Los Angeles Times, "Cooking tips and tools for the blind and disabled," 9 Apr. 2021 Perhaps the most wrenching change has been an alteration to the historic route. Kimberley A. Strassel, WSJ, "A Socially Distanced Dogsled Race Is Trickier Than You’d Think," 5 Mar. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'alteration.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of alteration

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for alteration

Middle English alteracioun "change, transformation," borrowed from Anglo-French & Medieval Latin; Anglo-French alteracion, borrowed from Medieval Latin alterātiōn-, alterātiō, from Late Latin alterāre "to change, alter" + Latin -tiōn-, -tiō, suffix of verbal action

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Learn More about alteration

Time Traveler for alteration

Time Traveler

The first known use of alteration was in the 14th century

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Statistics for alteration

Last Updated

7 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Alteration.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for alteration



English Language Learners Definition of alteration

: the act, process, or result of changing or altering something


al·​ter·​ation | \ ˌȯl-tə-ˈrā-shən How to pronounce alteration (audio) \

Kids Definition of alteration

1 : the act or process of changing something She began alteration of the design.
2 : the result of changing : modification a minor alteration

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