alternate

adjective
al·​ter·​nate | \ US and Canadian ˈȯl-tər-nət How to pronounce alternate (audio) also ˈal-; chiefly British ȯl-ˈtər- \

Definition of alternate

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : occurring or succeeding by turns a day of alternate sunshine and rain
2a : arranged first on one side and then on the other at different levels or points along an axial line a plant with alternate leaves — compare opposite entry 1
b : arranged one above or alongside the other alternate layers of brick and stone
3 : every other : every second He works on alternate days.
4 : constituting an alternative took the alternate route home
5 : alternative sense 2 did not approve of their son's alternate lifestyle

alternate

verb
al·​ter·​nate | \ ˈȯl-tər-ˌnāt How to pronounce alternate (audio) also ˈal- \
alternated; alternating

Definition of alternate (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

1 : to perform by turns or in succession alternated comedies and dramas
2 : to cause to alternate

intransitive verb

: to change from one to another repeatedly Rain alternated with sun.

alternate

noun
al·​ter·​nate | \ US and Canadian ˈȯl-tər-nət How to pronounce alternate (audio) also ˈal-; chiefly British ȯl-ˈtər- \

Definition of alternate (Entry 3 of 3)

2 : one that substitutes for or alternates with another They chose twelve jurors and two alternates.

Examples of alternate in a Sentence

Adjective Alternate shades of wood formed a pattern around the window. We took an alternate route because of the traffic. Due to an emergency, the plane landed at an alternate airport. Verb The poem alternates fear and hope. The light and dark woods alternate to form an elegant pattern around the window. Noun The town has elected five councilors and two alternates.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective That was against Texas Tech, also in an alternate-site game at the start of the season. Steve Berkowitz, USA TODAY, 7 Sep. 2021 Baumann, the organization’s third-best pitching prospect at No. 8 entering the season, felt a return of his elbow injury suffered in 2020 at the alternate training site early in spring training and took a while to get back to being himself. Jon Meoli, baltimoresun.com, 2 Sep. 2021 Kinsella said that having the 2021 homecoming at an alternate site was better than another cancellation. al, 2 Sep. 2021 So Perez would not be without competition last year, the Brewers included him in their alternate training site in Appleton, a huge vote of confidence in the then-17-year-old. Tom Haudricourt, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 30 Aug. 2021 Last season, at the alternate training site in Bowie, the Orioles’ hitting staff helped bring about success in a challenging environment for teenage shortstop Henderson. Jon Meoli, baltimoresun.com, 22 Aug. 2021 Bowman was optioned to the alternate site, but it was reversed when an elbow injury was discovered afterward from spring training. Bobby Nightengale, The Enquirer, 19 Aug. 2021 Not being invited to the alternate site in 2020 fueled Ellis' competitive fire. José M. Romero, The Arizona Republic, 5 Aug. 2021 For each skewer, alternate approximately 3 tortelloni, 2 mozzarella balls, 3 olives, 3 bell pepper pieces and 3 cherry tomatoes. Washington Post, 12 Aug. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb In between tug-o-wars and pick up soccer games, the parents would alternate preparing and grilling food for everyone. Irene Yoo, Bon Appétit, 27 Aug. 2021 Every Friday, the centers will alternate showing movies at the Bishops Corner Branch and the Elmwood Branch of the West Hartford Senior Centers. courant.com, 26 Aug. 2021 As a two-way contract player, Hauser will alternate between the G League and the NBA. BostonGlobe.com, 13 Aug. 2021 Maddon said Adell will alternate in both corner outfield spots along with Justin Upton and Adam Eaton. Jack Harris, Los Angeles Times, 3 Aug. 2021 The boys and girls would alternate days during the playoffs with the girls final on March 5 and the boys final on March 6. Richard Obert, The Arizona Republic, 22 Aug. 2020 Additionally, gymnastics alternate Kara Eaker tested positive in Japan. Chris Bumbaca, USA TODAY, 25 July 2021 Thus far, beach volleyball player Taylor Crabb and gymnastics alternate Kara Eaker are the only U.S. athletes who are known to have tested positive. NBC News, 23 July 2021 Judge, who in his two seasons has taken a hard stance on discipline, lit up his players with curse words and forced them to alternate between 100-yard sprints and pushups for the rest of practice. BostonGlobe.com, 7 Aug. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Travelers heading to and from the central and eastern parts of Oregon will need to choose an alternate to U.S. 20 due to road work Wednesday-Friday, Sept. 8-10. oregonlive, 7 Sep. 2021 Programs will run monthly, September through December, and alternate between the Frazier History Museum and Muhammad Ali Center. Mary Irby-jones, The Courier-Journal, 1 Sep. 2021 As past and present alternate, the eccentricities of the older Zátopek gradually knit together with the cocky showmanship of his younger self. Guy Lodge, Variety, 25 Aug. 2021 Skinner of Gilbert/Desert Lights was a 2016 Olympic alternate who did not compete in Rio. Kaila White, The Arizona Republic, 5 Aug. 2021 Skinner, from Gilbert, Arizona, was a 2016 Olympic alternate who did not compete in Rio. Jeff Metcalfe, USA TODAY, 30 July 2021 The finalists were introduced by the 2020-21 Teacher of the Year and alternate, Andrew Jackson and David Dai. Ike Morgan | Imorgan@al.com, al, 12 Aug. 2021 One is Kara Eaker, an Olympic alternate for Team USA. Julie Jag, The Salt Lake Tribune, 9 Aug. 2021 And Chelsea Wolfe, a BMX freestyle alternate, became the first openly transgender athlete on Team USA. Melissa Locker, Time, 6 Aug. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'alternate.' 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 alternate

Adjective

circa 1535, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1605, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Noun

1717, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for alternate

Adjective

Latin alternatus, past participle of alternare, from alternus alternate, from alter other

Verb

borrowed from Latin alternātus, past participle of alternāre "to ebb and flow, act in alternation, arrange in alternating order" — more at alternate entry 1

Noun

derivative of alternate entry 1

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Time Traveler for alternate

Time Traveler

The first known use of alternate was circa 1535

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Dictionary Entries Near alternate

alternat

alternate

alternate angle

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Statistics for alternate

Last Updated

10 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Alternate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/alternate. Accessed 21 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for alternate

alternate

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of alternate

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: 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 : alternative

alternate

verb

English Language Learners Definition of alternate (Entry 2 of 3)

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

alternate

noun

English Language Learners Definition of alternate (Entry 3 of 3)

: 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

alternate

adjective
al·​ter·​nate | \ ˈȯl-tər-nət How to pronounce alternate (audio) \

Kids Definition of alternate

 (Entry 1 of 3)

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.

Other Words from alternate

alternately adverb

alternate

verb
al·​ter·​nate | \ ˈȯl-tər-ˌnāt How to pronounce alternate (audio) \
alternated; alternating

Kids Definition of alternate (Entry 2 of 3)

: to take place or cause to take place by turns I alternate running and lifting weights.

alternate

noun
al·​ter·​nate | \ ˈȯl-tər-nət How to pronounce alternate (audio) \

Kids Definition of alternate (Entry 3 of 3)

: a person named to take the place of another whenever necessary I was chosen to be an alternate on the jury.

alternate

adjective
al·​ter·​nate | \ ˈȯl-tər-nət, ˈal- How to pronounce alternate (audio) \

Legal Definition of alternate

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : occurring or succeeding by turns
2 : being an alternative alternate juror

alternate

noun

Legal Definition of alternate (Entry 2 of 2)

2 : one that substitutes for another twelve jurors and three alternates

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