Meaning of ALTERNATE in English


adjective , verb , noun

■ adjective / ɔːlˈtɜːnət; NAmE ˈɔːltərnət/ [ usually before noun ]


( of two things ) happening or following one after the other regularly :

alternate layers of fruit and cream


if sth happens on alternate days, nights, etc. it happens on one day, etc. but not on the next :

John has to work on alternate Sundays.


( especially NAmE ) = alternative

►  al·ter·nate·ly adverb :

He felt alternately hot and cold.

■ verb / ˈɔːltəneɪt; NAmE -tərn-/


[ vn ] ~ A and B | ~ A with B to make things or people follow one after the other in a repeated pattern :

Alternate cubes of meat and slices of red pepper.

Alternate cubes of meat with slices of red pepper.


[ v ] ~ (with sth) ( of things or people ) to follow one after the other in a repeated pattern :

alternating dark and pale stripes

Dark stripes alternate with pale ones.


[ v ] ~ between A and B to keep changing from one thing to another and back again :

Her mood alternated between happiness and despair.

►  al·ter·na·tion / ˌɔːltəˈneɪʃn; NAmE -tərˈn-/ noun [ U , C ]:

the alternation of day and night

■ noun

/ ˈɔːltɜːrnət; NAmE -tərn-/ ( NAmE ) a person who does a job for sb who is away



early 16th cent.: from Latin alternat- done by turns, from alternare , from alternus every other, from alter other.

Oxford Advanced Learner's English Dictionary.      Оксфордский английский словарь для изучающик язык на продвинутом уровне.