alternative

[ awl-tur-nuh-tiv, al- ]
/ ɔlˈtɜr nə tɪv, æl- /

noun

a choice limited to one of two or more possibilities, as of things, propositions, or courses of action, the selection of which precludes any other possibility: You have the alternative of riding or walking.
one of the things, propositions, or courses of action that can be chosen: The alternative to riding is walking.
a possible or remaining course or choice: There was no alternative but to walk.

adjective

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Question 1 of 9
“I do believe that the buck stops here, that I cannot rely upon public opinion polls to tell me what is right. I do believe that right makes might and that if I am wrong, 10 angels swearing I was right would make no difference.”
Also alternate (for defs. 1-4, 6).

Origin of alternative

First recorded in 1580–90; alternate + -ive

synonym study for alternative

1. See choice.

OTHER WORDS FROM alternative

al·ter·na·tive·ly, adverbal·ter·na·tive·ness, al·ter·na·tiv·i·ty, nounqua·si-al·ter·na·tive, adjectivequa·si-al·ter·na·tive·ly, adverb

WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH alternative

alternate, alternative
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for alternative

British Dictionary definitions for alternative

alternative
/ (ɔːlˈtɜːnətɪv) /

noun

a possibility of choice, esp between two things, courses of action, etc
either of such choiceswe took the alternative of walking

adjective

presenting a choice, esp between two possibilities only
(of two things) mutually exclusive
denoting a lifestyle, culture, art form, etc, regarded by its adherents as preferable to that of contemporary society because it is less conventional, materialistic, or institutionalized, and, often, more in harmony with nature
logic another word for disjunctive (def. 3)

Derived forms of alternative

alternatively, adverbalternativeness, noun
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