alter

[ awl-ter ]
/ ˈɔl tər /

verb (used with object)

to make different in some particular, as size, style, course, or the like; modify: to alter a coat; to alter a will; to alter course.
to castrate or spay.

verb (used without object)

to change; become different or modified.

Origin of alter

1350–1400; Middle English < Old French alterer < Late Latin alterāre to change, worsen, derivative of Latin alter other

Related forms

Can be confused

altar alter

Synonym study

1. See adjust, change.

Definition for alter (2 of 5)

Alter

[ awl-ter ]
/ ˈɔl tər /

noun

David,1807–81, U.S. physicist.

Definition for alter (3 of 5)

alt

[ alt ]
/ ælt /
Music.

adjective


noun

in alt, in the first octave above the treble staff.

Origin of alt

1525–35; < Provençal < Latin altum, noun use of neuter of altus high

Definition for alter (4 of 5)

Definition for alter (5 of 5)

alter idem

[ ahl-ter ee-dem; English awl-ter ahy-dem, al- ]
/ ˈɑl tɛr ˈi dɛm; English ˈɔl tər ˈaɪ dɛm, ˈæl- /

noun Latin.

another exactly the same.

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for alter

British Dictionary definitions for alter (1 of 2)

alter

/ (ˈɔːltə) /

verb

to make or become different in some respect; change
(tr) informal, mainly US a euphemistic word for castrate, spay

Derived Forms

alterable, adjectivealterably, adverbalterability, noun

Word Origin for alter

C14: from Old French alterer, from Medieval Latin alterāre to change, from Latin alter other

British Dictionary definitions for alter (2 of 2)

alt

/ (ælt) music /

adjective

(esp of vocal music) high in pitch
of or relating to the octave commencing with the G above the top line of the treble staff

noun

in alt in the octave directly above the treble staff

Word Origin for alt

C16: from Provençal, from Latin altus high, deep
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Medicine definitions for alter

ALT

[ ā′ĕl-tē ]

n.

alanine aminotransferase

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.