- The definition of alternative is something that is a possible selection.
The route you decided to take is an example of an alternative route.
- Alternative is defined as something that does not conform to existing or mainstream standards.
Acupuncture is an example of an alternative medical treatment.
- An alternative is defined as an option.
Corn as a side dish to an entree is an example of an alternative.
- providing or being a choice between two or among more than two things: alternative routes
- designating or of an institution, enterprise, etc. that appeals to unconventional or nontraditional interests: an alternative school
Origin of alternativeMedieval Latin alternativus: see alternate
- a choice between two or among more than two things
- either or one of the things to be chosen
- something remaining to be chosen: is there an alternative to going?
- a. One of a number of possible choices or courses of action: There are plenty of alternatives to conventional advertising.b. A choice or course of action that is mutually exclusive with another: The alternative to staying in that dead-end job is to quit. See Synonyms at choice.
- A situation presenting a choice between two mutually exclusive possibilities: people facing the alternative of selling their homes or going bankrupt.
- a. Being one of a number of possible choices or courses of action: The highway is closed. Seek alternative routes.b. Being one of two mutually exclusive choices or courses of action: How effective is the alternative treatment?c. Substitute or other: Several members of the audience provided alternative views on the topic.
- a. Existing outside traditional or established institutions or systems: an alternative lifestyle; alternative energy.b. Espousing or reflecting values that are different from those of the establishment or mainstream: an alternative newspaper.
- A situation which allows a mutually exclusive choice between two or more possibilities; a choice between two or more possibilities. [from 17th c.]
- One of several mutually exclusive things which can be chosen. [from 17th c.]
- The remaining option; something available after other possibilities have been exhausted. [from 18th c.]