verb (used without object), al·ter·nat·ed, al·ter·nat·ing.
verb (used with object), al·ter·nat·ed, al·ter·nat·ing.
- placed singly at different heights on the axis, on each side in succession, or at definite angular distances from one another, as leaves.
- opposite to the intervals between other organs: petals alternate with sepals.
- either of two actors who take turns playing the same role.
- an understudy.
Origin of alternate
Related Words for alternatebackup, rotate, vary, intersperse, waver, alter, sub, surrogate, double, equivalent, proxy, fill-in, replacement, stand-in, interchange, vacillate, exchange, shift, relieve, sway
Examples from the Web for alternate
Contemporary Examples of alternate
In the absence of typical classrooms and curriculums, West Africans have opted for alternate methods of learning and education.The Radio Battle to Educate Ebola’s Kids
December 11, 2014
Then at least the American public would have been getting an alternate theory of the case about Keystone.For Obama, Hell Week Has Arrived
November 15, 2014
Underneath, a miniature version of the bug-crazy man is revealed, himself thwacking away in an alternate dimension.‘Interstellar’ Is Wildly Ambitious, Very Flawed, and Absolutely Worth Seeing
November 7, 2014
The other two are da—meaning father—and te—an alternate spelling of ti.
Other new admissions to the dictionary include qayaq—an alternate spelling of kayak—and thongy.
Historical Examples of alternate
He closed his eyes as if asleep, and I paddled on in the alternate moonlight and shadow.In the Valley
He put in the most of that day in alternate struggling and crying.Johnny Bear
E. T. Seton
Every alternate page was in the phonetic Indian symbols, of which more hereafter.The Forest
Stewart Edward White
He amused them and made himself their idol by dint of alternate flattery and blame.His Masterpiece
All that day he went about in an alternate state of dread and hope.Shavings
Joseph C. Lincoln
- (of leaves, flowers, etc) arranged singly at different heights on either side of the stem
- (of parts of a flower) arranged opposite the spaces between other partsCompare opposite (def. 4)
noun (ˈɔːltənɪt, ɔːlˈtɜːnɪt)
Word Origin for alternate
1510s, from Latin alternatus "one after the other," past participle of alternare "to do first one thing then the other; exchange parts," from alternus "one after the other, alternate, in turns, reciprocal," from alter "the other" (see alter). Alternate means "by turns;" alternative means "offering a choice." Both imply two kinds or things.
1718, "that which alternates (with anything else)," from alternate (adj.). Meaning "a substitute" is first attested 1848.