Alternate meaning

ôl'tər-nāt', ăl'-
The definition of alternate is to switch back and forth between two things or activities.

To stagger a layer of cake with a layer of icing is an example of alternate.

verb
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Alternate is to take turns or do something after another person has finished.

An example of alternate is when first your friend rides the bike and then you ride the bike.

verb
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Alternate refers to every other one in a sequence.

Odd-numbered days are examples of alternate days.

adjective
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Alternate means to something that will substitute for something else.

Homeopathic medicines are different from pharmaceutical drugs and are an example of alternate medicines.

adjective
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To reverse direction at regular intervals in a circuit.
verb
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An alternate is defined as a person who takes the place of another.

An understudy is an example of an alternate.

noun
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To pass back and forth from one state, action, or place to another.

Alternated between happiness and depression.

verb
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To do or execute by turns.
verb
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To cause to alternate.

Alternated light and dark squares to form a pattern.

verb
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Happening or following in turns; succeeding each other continuously.

Alternate seasons of the year.

adjective
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Designating or relating to every other one of a series.

Alternate lines.

adjective
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Serving or used in place of another; substitute.

An alternate plan.

adjective
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A person acting in the place of another; a substitute.
noun
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An alternative.
noun
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Occurring by turns; succeeding each other; one and then the other.

Alternate stripes of blue and white.

adjective
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Every other; every second.

To report on alternate Tuesdays.

adjective
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Being one of two or more choices; alternative.
adjective
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A person standing by to take the place of another if necessary; substitute.
noun
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To do or use by turns.
verb
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To make happen or arrange by turns.
verb
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To act, happen, etc. by turns; follow successively.

Good times alternate with bad.

verb
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To take turns.
verb
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To exchange places, etc. regularly.
verb
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To reverse direction periodically.
verb
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Arranged singly at intervals on a stem or twig. Elms, birches, oaks, cherry trees, and hickory trees have alternate leaves.
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Arranged regularly between other parts, as stamens between petals on a flower.
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Being or succeeding by turns; one following the other in succession of time or place; by turns first one and then the other; hence, reciprocal.

And bid alternate passions fall and rise. -Alexander Pope.

adjective
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(mathematics) Designating the members in a series, which regularly intervene between the members of another series, as the odd or even numbers of the numerals; every other; every second.

The alternate members 1, 3, 5, 7, etc.

adjective
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Hyperlinked text is displayed in alternate colour in a Web browser.

adjective
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(botany) Distributed, as leaves, singly at different heights of the stem, and at equal intervals as respects angular divergence.

adjective
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That which alternates with something else; vicissitude.
noun
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(US) A substitute; an alternative; one designated to take the place of another, if necessary, in performing some duty.
noun
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(mathematics) A proportion derived from another proportion by interchanging the means.
noun
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(US) A replacement of equal or greater value or function.
noun
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(heraldry) Figures or tinctures that succeed each other by turns.
noun
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To perform by turns, or in succession; to cause to succeed by turns; to interchange regularly.
verb
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(intransitive) To happen, succeed, or act by turns; to follow reciprocally in place or time; followed by with.

The flood and ebb tides alternate with each other.

verb
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(intransitive) To vary by turns.

The land alternates between rocky hills and sandy plains.

verb
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Origin of alternate

  • Latin alternāre alternāt- from alternus by turns from alter other al-1 in Indo-European roots
    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition
  • From Latin alternō (“take turns”), alternus (“one after another, by turns”), from alter (“other”). See altern, alter.
    From Wiktionary