al·​ter·​a·​tion ˌȯl-tə-ˈrā-shən How to pronounce alteration (audio)
plural alterations
: the act or process of altering something
The dress needs alteration for a proper fit.
: the state of being altered
: the result of changing or altering something: such as
: a change made in fitting a garment
no charge for alterations
: a change in a legal instrument that alters its legal effect
She made some alterations to her will.
: a mineral that has been altered by a chemical process : metasomatism

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.
Recent Examples on the Web The evening felt exceptionally spirited despite Sunday’s schedule packed with final fittings, glam tests, and last-minute alterations. Eliseé Browchuk, Vogue, 5 May 2024 Inquiries about proper sealing of evidence, the chain of custody and the training of those collecting evidence have all led to questions about whether those things can impact contamination, alteration or loss of evidence. James Hartley, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 18 Apr. 2024 See all Example Sentences for alteration 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'alteration.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near alteration

Cite this Entry

“Alteration.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


al·​ter·​ation ˌȯl-tə-ˈrā-shən How to pronounce alteration (audio)
: the act or process of altering
: the state of being altered
: the result of altering : modification

More from Merriam-Webster on alteration

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