al·​ter·​nat·​ing | \ ˈȯl-tər-ˌnā-tiŋ also ˈal- How to pronounce alternating (audio) \

Definition of alternating

: occurring by turns or in succession a fabric with alternating red and blue stripes … they lacked experience with volcanoes such as St. Helens, a composite of alternating layers of ash and lava.— Rowe Findley

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Other Words from alternating

alternatingly adverb
Alternatingly, place small mounds of the fennel and cabbage on each plate … — Owen Dugan

Examples of alternating in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Exhibits in the back room explain how alternating wet and dry seasons in the Mesozoic swampland created ideal conditions to preserve prints (but not bones) in the shorelines that ultimately hardened into rock. David Lyon,, "Making tracks: Walking in the footsteps of New England dinosaurs," 18 June 2019 That’s where this alternating suitcase deadlift comes in. Jenny Mccoy, SELF, "Seriously Challenge Your Core With This Deadlift Variation From Naomi Campbell's Trainer," 19 Dec. 2018 When two teams are tied at the end of regulation in an elimination game in the World Cup, the outcome of the game is decided with five alternating penalty kicks—and more if necessary. Allen St. John, Popular Mechanics, "The Physics and Mind Games of a World Cup Penalty Kick," 6 June 2018 Motion and Aspen Santa Fe Ballet offer new works, Orange County Women’s Chorus and Men in Blaque team up to sing Haydn, and Bedlam theater company gives alternating performances of plays by Shakespeare and Shaw. Matt Cooper,, "Weekend Picks: Kyle Abraham, Bedlam, the Breeders and more," 5 Apr. 2018 Down center of baking pan, arrange a strip of 8 alternating slices of vegetables over piperade, overlapping so that ¼ inch of each slice is exposed. San Antonio Express-News, "Recipe: “Ratatouille”-style Ratatouille (Confit Byaldi)," 23 Feb. 2018 The last four, just like last year, will be alternating games against Big Ten foes Nebraska and Ohio State. Ron Richmond For The Oregonian/oregonlive,, "Starters named, but order undecided as No. 2 Oregon State Beavers' baseball season nears," 13 Feb. 2018 These dual quests are detailed in more or less alternating chapters, through multiple characters’ points of view. Tom Nolan, WSJ, "The Best New Mysteries," 20 Oct. 2017 Both men battle to develop the predominant electrical current (direct or alternating, respectively). Etan Vlessing, The Hollywood Reporter, "Toronto: Benedict Cumberbatch Says He Has "No Vanity" Playing Characters," 10 Sep. 2017

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

1653, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for alternating

Last Updated

15 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for alternating

The first known use of alternating was in 1653

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More from Merriam-Webster on alternating

Nglish: Translation of alternating for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of alternating for Arabic Speakers

Comments on alternating

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


appealing forcibly to the mind or reason

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