[al.ter.nate] adj [L alternatus, pp. of alternare, fr. alternus alternate, fr. alter] (1513) 1: occurring or succeeding by turns "a day of ~ sunshine and rain"
2. a: arranged first on one side and then on the other at different levels or points along an axial line "~ leaves"--compare opposite b: arranged one above or alongside the other
3: every other: every second "he works on ~ days"
4: constituting an alternative "took the ~ route home"
5: alternative 3 -- al.ter.nate.ly adv
al.ter.nate vb -nat.ed ; -nat.ing vt (1599) 1: to perform by turns or in succession
2: to cause to alternate ~ vi: to change from one to another repeatedly "rain alternated with sun" al.ter.nate n (1717) 1: alternative
2: one that substitutes for or alternates with another