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

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

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 In the past, shipping electricity many hundreds of miles over conventional alternating-current lines wasn’t economical because of power losses that mounted rapidly the longer the distance. Phred Dvorak, WSJ, 7 Mar. 2022 The case and bracelet on both models have are stain-brushed and polished in an alternating fashion right down to the folding clasp. Paige Reddinger, Robb Report, 26 Jan. 2022 District 203 Superintendent Dan Bridges said early childhood students in full-day preschool will begin returning to their schools on an alternating-day basis beginning Thursday. Rafael Guerrero,, 3 Nov. 2020 In Montgomery, churches could have alternating rows of pews roped off and pillows placed in the others, asking only family members to sit together. Dennis Pillion |, al, 19 Apr. 2020 To rein in these non-traditional energy sources, researchers typically rely on rectifiers, or devices designed to convert the alternating current of electromagnetic waves—which oscillate in every which direction—into a direct current. Courtney Linder, Popular Mechanics, 2 Apr. 2020 The novel presents the alternating viewpoints of Alice and Eleanor in first person, as well as several chapters following John Billington’s point of view (which is disconcertingly rendered in third person). Emily Gray Tedrowe, USA TODAY, 16 Mar. 2020 People will also have alternating chills and sweats, and body aches. New York Times, 30 Mar. 2020 Ions enter at one end and are shuffled along through alternating regions where they can be held for storage or hit by lasers that perform qubit manipulation operations on them. John Timmer, Ars Technica, 3 Mar. 2020 See More

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.

First Known Use of alternating

1653, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for alternating

from present participle of alternate entry 2

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Time Traveler for alternating

Time Traveler

The first known use of alternating was in 1653

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Dictionary Entries Near alternating

alternate straight


alternating current

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Statistics for alternating

Cite this Entry

“Alternating.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Aug. 2022.

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