al·​ter·​ation | \ 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 performance began with the vocal sample, presented without alteration. New York Times, "He Turned the Met Museum’s Collection Into an Orchestra," 16 July 2019 Make no changes or alterations in your normal duties and routines. Tribune Content Agency,, "Horoscope for July 10, 2019: Happy birthday Chiwetel Ejiofor; Scorpio, be resilient during ups and downs," 10 July 2019 The city argued that Centerplan was in control of those changes, which were attempts to correct mistakes and make adjustments resulting from alterations Centerplan made in the original plans. Kenneth R. Gosselin,, "Jury rules in Hartford’s favor in high-stakes lawsuit over Dunkin’ Donuts Park; developers ordered to pay $335,000," 2 July 2019 Pfizer last week announced its purchase of Array BioPharma , which produces two therapies that target specific genetic alterations that cause skin cancer. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Tax Reform’s Remedy for Outsourcing," 25 June 2019 Seamstresses responded, offering to alter his old uniform, but Luse told them, jokingly, that the uniform had shrunk beyond alteration. Jeannette Hinkle, azcentral, "Sen. Martha McSally buys retired Air Force colonel a new uniform so he can swear son into Navy," 20 June 2019 Every reasonable effort will be made to operate Trips as planned, but alterations may still occur after the final itinerary is sent. National Geographic, "Student Expeditions Terms & Conditions," 12 June 2019 Think about whether the recipe should even be changed Not every baked good is amenable to alterations. Becky Krystal, The Denver Post, "How to swap baking pan sizes without ruining your recipe," 3 July 2019 The insurer wants to block Carman’s $85,000 claim on the sunken vessel, alleging that Carman made alterations to the boat in a deliberate attempt to sink it with his mother on board. Travis Andersen,, "Nathan Carman lawsuit in R.I. slated for trial in August," 18 June 2019

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

see alter

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Dictionary Entries near alteration








Statistics for alteration

Last Updated

20 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for alteration

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

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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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Comments on alteration

What made you want to look up alteration? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


an act or instance of editing or removing

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