Dictionary.com

alternative

[ awl-tur-nuh-tiv, al- ]
/ ɔlˈtɜr nə tɪv, æl- /
Save This Word!
See synonyms for: alternative / alternatives / alternatively on Thesaurus.com

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
QUIZ
CUDDLE UP! A COZY QUIZ ON FALL WORDS HAS ARRIVED
If autumn is your ideal season, spice up your repertoire of "fall" vocabulary with this quiz on some warm and vivid descriptive words for the season.
Question 1 of 10
Which of the following words means “to make a crackling sound; crackle”?
Meet Grammar CoachWrite or paste your essay, email, or story into Grammar Coach and get grammar helpImprove Your Writing
Meet Grammar CoachImprove Your Writing
Write or paste your essay, email, or story into Grammar Coach and get grammar help
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 [awl-tur-nuh-tiv-i-tee, al-], /ɔlˌtɜr nəˈtɪv ɪ ti, æl-/, nounqua·si-al·ter·na·tive, adjective

WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH alternative

alternate, alternative
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

How to use alternative in a sentence

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
FEEDBACK