Thesaurus

alter

verb

Synonyms & Antonyms of alter

1 to make different in some way
  • can't you alter your plans just slightly so we can leave 10 minutes earlier?

Synonyms for alter

Words Related to alter

Antonyms for alter

2 to remove the sex organs of
  • contends that cats and dogs that have been altered make better pets

Synonyms for alter

Words Related to alter

See the Dictionary Definition 

Frequently Asked Questions About alter

How is the word alter different from other verbs like it?

Some common synonyms of alter are change, modify, and vary. While all these words mean "to make or become different," alter implies a difference in some particular respect without suggesting loss of identity.

slightly altered the original design

When is it sensible to use change instead of alter?

In some situations, the words change and alter are roughly equivalent. However, change implies making either an essential difference often amounting to a loss of original identity or a substitution of one thing for another.

changed the shirt for a larger size

In what contexts can modify take the place of alter?

The synonyms modify and alter are sometimes interchangeable, but modify suggests a difference that limits, restricts, or adapts to a new purpose.

modified the building for use by the disabled

When might vary be a better fit than alter?

Although the words vary and alter have much in common, vary stresses a breaking away from sameness, duplication, or exact repetition.

vary your daily routine

Learn More About alter

Time Traveler for alter

Time Traveler

The first known use of alter was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Thesaurus Entries Near alter

altars

alter

alterable

See More Nearby Entries 

Cite this Entry

“Alter.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/alter. Accessed 17 Aug. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on alter

Nglish: Translation of alter for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of alter for Arabic Speakers

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Commonly Confused Words Quiz

  • vector image of a face with thought expression
  • I went to the ______ store to buy a birthday card.
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!