1

alternate

adjective al·ter·nate \ US and Canadian ˈȯl-tər-nət also ˈal- ; chiefly British ȯl-ˈtər- \
Updated on: 16 Nov 2017

Definition of alternate

1 :occurring or succeeding by turns
  • a day of alternate sunshine and rain
2 a :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
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 2
  • did not approve of their son's alternate lifestyle

alternately

adverb

Examples of alternate in a Sentence

  1. Alternate shades of wood formed a pattern around the window.

  2. We took an alternate route because of the traffic.

  3. Due to an emergency, the plane landed at an alternate airport.

Recent Examples of alternate from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of alternate

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


2

alternate

verb al·ter·nate \ ˈȯl-tər-ˌnāt also ˈal- \

Definition of alternate

alternated; alternating
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.

Examples of alternate in a Sentence

  1. The poem alternates fear and hope.

  2. The light and dark woods alternate to form an elegant pattern around the window.

Recent Examples of alternate from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of alternate


3

alternate

noun al·ter·nate \ same as 1alternate \

Definition of alternate

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

Examples of alternate in a Sentence

  1. The town has elected five councilors and two alternates.

Recent Examples of alternate from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of alternate


ALTERNATE Defined for English Language Learners

alternate

adjective

Definition of alternate for English Language Learners

  • : 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


alternate

verb

Definition of alternate for English Language Learners

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


alternate

noun

Definition of alternate for English Language Learners

  • : 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 Defined for Kids

1

alternate

adjective al·ter·nate \ ˈȯl-tər-nət \

Definition of alternate for Students

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.

alternately

adverb

2

alternate

verb al·ter·nate \ ˈȯl-tər-ˌnāt \

Definition of alternate for Students

alternated; alternating
:to take place or cause to take place by turns
  • She alternated between running and lifting weights.

3

alternate

noun al·ter·nate \ ˈȯl-tər-nət \

Definition of alternate for Students

:a person named to take the place of another whenever necessary They were chosen as alternates to attend the convention.

Law Dictionary

1

alternate

adjective al·ter·nate \ ˈȯl-tər-nət, ˈal- \

legal Definition of alternate

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

2

alternate

noun

legal Definition of alternate

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


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