alternate

Listen:
 adjective: [ɔːlˈt3ːrnɪt] [ɔːlˈt3ːrnət], verb: [ˈɔːltərneɪt]



WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2019
al•ter•nate /verb ˈɔltɚˌneɪt, ˈæl-; adjective, noun -nɪt/USA pronunciation   v.,  -nat•ed, -nat•ing, adj., n. 
v. 
  1. to interchange regularly with one another in time or place: [~ + with + object]Day alternates with night.[~ + object]They alternated hot and cold compresses on the injury.
  2. [~ + between + object] to change back and forth between states, actions, etc.: He alternates between hope and despair.
  3. to take turns: [~ + in + object]The children alternate in doing chores.[~ + object]The children alternate chores.

adj. [before a noun]
  1. interchanged repeatedly one for another:alternate periods of clouds and sun.
  2. every second one of a series:Read only the alternate lines.
  3. alternative (def. 4): Do you have an alternate plan?

n. [countable]
  1. a person authorized to take the place of another:I sent my alternate to the meeting.
al•ter•nate•ly /ˈɔltɚnɪtli, ˈæl-/USA pronunciation  adv. 
al•ter•na•tion /ˌɔltɚˈneɪʃən, ˌæl-/USA pronunciation  n. [countableuncountable]See -alte-.

WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2019
al•ter•nate  (v. ôltər nāt′, al-;adj., n. ôltər nit, al-),USA pronunciation v.,  -nat•ed, -nat•ing, adj., n. 
v.i. 
  1. to interchange repeatedly and regularly with one another in time or place;
    rotate (usually fol. by with):Day alternates with night.
  2. to change back and forth between conditions, states, actions, etc.:He alternates between hope and despair.
  3. to take turns:My sister and I alternated in doing the dishes.
  4. Electricityto reverse direction or sign periodically.
  5. Linguisticsto occur as a variant in alternation with another form.

v.t. 
  1. to perform or do in succession or one after another:to alternate comedy acts; to alternate jogging and walking.
  2. to interchange successively or regularly:to alternate hot and cold compresses.

adj. 
  1. being in a constant state of succession or rotation;
    interchanged repeatedly one for another:Winter and summer are alternate seasons.
  2. reciprocal;
    mutual:alternate acts of kindness.
  3. every second one of a series:Read only the alternate lines.
  4. constituting an alternative:The alternate route is more scenic.
  5. alternative (defs. 4, 6).
  6. [Bot.]
    • Botanyplaced singly at different heights on the axis, on each side in succession, or at definite angular distances from one another, as leaves.
    • Botanyopposite to the intervals between other organs:petals alternate with sepals.

n. 
  1. a person authorized to fill the position, exercise the duties, etc., of another who is temporarily absent;
    substitute.
  2. Show Business[Theat.]
    • either of two actors who take turns playing the same role.
    • an understudy.
  3. alternative.
alter•nate•ly, adv. 
alter•nate•ness, n. 
alter•nat′ing•ly, adv. 
  • Latin alternātus (past participle of alternāre). See altern, -ate1
  • 1505–15


Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::

alternate vb /ˈɔːltəˌneɪt/
  1. (often followed by with) to occur or cause to occur successively or by turns: day and night alternate
  2. (intransitive) often followed by between: to swing repeatedly from one condition, action, etc, to another
  3. (transitive) to interchange regularly or in succession
  4. (intransitive) (of an electric current, voltage, etc) to reverse direction or sign at regular intervals, usually sinusoidally, the instantaneous value varying continuously
adj /ɔːlˈtɜːnɪt/
  1. occurring by turns: alternate feelings of love and hate
  2. every other or second one of a series: he came to work on alternate days
  3. (of leaves, flowers, etc) arranged singly at different heights on either side of the stem
n /ˈɔːltənɪt; ɔːlˈtɜːnɪt/
  1. US Canadian a person who substitutes for another in his absence; stand-in
Etymology: 16th Century: from Latin alternāre to do one thing and then another, from alternus one after the other, from alter other



'alternate' also found in these entries:
In Lists: Knitting, more...
Collocations: will be my alternate while I am away, It is a good idea to have an alternate., [decide on, choose, appoint] an alternate, more...

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