- The definition of alter means to make something different without completely changing it.
An example of alter is to cut a few inches off the bottom of a dress to make it shorter.
- to make different in details but not in substance; modify
- to resew parts of (a garment) for a better fit
- ☆ to castrate or spay
Origin: Middle English alteren ; from Midieval Latin alterare ; from Classical Latin alter, other ; from Indo-European an unverified form al- (see else) plush -tero-, comparative suffix
- alterable adjective
Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
verb al·tered, al·ter·ing, al·ters verb, transitive
- To change or make different; modify: altered my will.
- To adjust (a garment) for a better fit.
- To castrate or spay (an animal, such as a cat or a dog).
Origin: Middle English alteren, from Old French alterer, from Medieval Latin alterāre, from Latin alter, other; see al-1 in Indo-European roots.