[ awl-ter-ney-shuh n, al- ]
/ ˌɔl tərˈneɪ ʃən, ˌæl- /


the act or process of alternating or the state of being alternated.
alternate succession; repeated rotation: the alternation of the seasons.
Electricity. a single fluctuation in the absolute value of an alternating current or voltage from zero to a maximum and back to zero, being equal to one half cycle.
Linguistics. variation in the form of a linguistic unit as it occurs in different environments or under different conditions, as between the -ed and -en forms of the past participle in danced and spoken or between the (t) and (d) pronunciations of the past tense suffix -ed in hopped and rubbed.

Origin of alternation

First recorded in 1605–15, alternation is from the Late Latin word alternātiōn- (stem of alternātiō). See alternate, -ion Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Examples from the Web for alternation

British Dictionary definitions for alternation

/ (ˌɔːltəˈneɪʃən) /


successive change from one condition or action to another and back again repeatedly
logic another name for disjunction (def. 3)
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

Medical definitions for alternation

[ ôl′tər-nāshən, ăl′- ]


Successive change from one thing or state to another and back again.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.