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

Definition of alternately

1 : by turns one after the other His heart rate was 175, his blood pressure alternately spiking and falling.— Stephen King As the gravitational waves passed Earth, they would alternately compress and expand the space between two objects.— Neil deGrasse Tyson et al. The rest of the day I spent alternately pacing the length of the train … or looking out the windows.— Rick Riordan
2 : as an alternative used to introduce a different possibility from what has been previously suggested or described From then on, you can take out almost $10,000 a year and annuitize $160,000 after at least ten years. Alternately, you can make no withdrawals and let your guaranteed base grow by 6 percent a year.— Kerry PechterThe club was originally known as Fontana Bar (or, alternately, Fontana Lounge and Fontana Room) from Bellagio's opening until it shifted to Hyde in December 2011.— John KatsilometesYou could be in for a pretty remarkable experience—or, alternately, one of the most miserable and terrifying nights of your life.— Drew Schwartz

First Known Use of alternately

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of alternately was in the 15th century

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Dictionary Entries Near alternately

alternate history


alternate proportion

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Cite this Entry

“Alternately.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Aug. 2022.

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