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
Examples from the Web for alternating
Contemporary Examples of alternating
She added in the high-pitched, over-enunciated voice, like she was alternating between sucking on helium and a bong.SNL’s Kim Kardashian Konundrum: Why Nasim Pedrad’s Exit Hurts So Much
September 26, 2014
They have also been baffling, alternating between high hope and disappointment.Progressive-palooza: On Obama, Occupy, and Moral Monday
July 5, 2014
With alternating chapters, the novel takes us on a frenetic journey through the perspectives of these unlikely apocalyptos.In a New Novel, Apathetic Teenagers Usher in the Apocalypse
June 9, 2014
In alternating chapters, the two narrators of the novel describe their lives with Isaac, from two different periods in time.This Week’s Hot Reads: March 3, 2014
March 3, 2014
Complete three sets of 10 to 12 reps on each side, alternating legs, moving forward with a step in between each kick.5 Exercises to Get Ski and Snowboard Ready
January 2, 2014
Historical Examples of alternating
The sun rose and set, alternating with the staring moon and stars.
The circuit-breaker worked and the alternating current did the rest.Pirates of the Gorm
All the passengers were herded there, with Miko and Moa alternating on guard.
Find out whether the current in your laboratory is direct or alternating.Common Science
Carleton W. Washburne
It is pleasant to hear the rush, and the calm, of tide race, alternating.From Edinburgh to India & Burmah
William G. Burn Murdoch
- (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
1550s, present participle adjective from alternate (v.). Alternating current is recorded from 1839.
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.