Meaning of ALTERNATE in English

I. US & Canad ˈȯl-tər-nət also ˈal-; chiefly Brit ȯl-ˈtər- adjective

Etymology: Latin alternatus, past participle of alternare, from alternus alternate, from alter

Date: 1513

1. : occurring or succeeding by turns

a day of alternate sunshine and rain


a. : arranged first on one side and then on the other at different levels or points along an axial line

alternate leaves

— compare opposite

b. : arranged one above or alongside the other

3. : every other : every second

he works on alternate days

4. : constituting an alternative

took the alternate route home

5. : alternative 3

• al·ter·nate·ly adverb

II. ˈȯl-tər-ˌnāt also ˈal- verb

( -nat·ed ; -nat·ing )

Date: 1599

transitive verb

1. : to perform by turns or in succession

2. : to cause to alternate

intransitive verb

: to change from one to another repeatedly

rain alternated with sun

III. same as 1 noun

Date: 1717

1. : alternative

2. : one that substitutes for or alternates with another

Merriam-Webster's Collegiate English vocabulary.      Энциклопедический словарь английского языка Merriam Webster.