Meaning of ALTERNATE in English


■ verb 'ɔ:ltəneɪt , 'ɒl- occur or do in turn repeatedly.

↘change repeatedly between two contrasting conditions.

■ adjective ɔ:l'tə:nət , ɒl-

1》 every other.

↘(of two things) each following and succeeded by the other in a regular pattern.

↘ Botany (of leaves or shoots) placed ~ly on the two sides of the stem.

2》 chiefly N. Amer. another term for alternative .

■ noun ɔ:l'tə:nət , ɒl- N. Amer. a deputy or substitute.


~ly adverb

alternation noun


C16 (earlier (ME) as alternation ): from L. alternare (see alternative ).


The use of ~ to mean alternative is common in North American English, though still generally regarded as incorrect in Britain.

Concise Oxford English vocab.      Сжатый оксфордский словарь английского языка.