Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Idioms.


 (ôl-tûr′nə-tĭv, ăl-)
a. One of a number of possible choices or courses of action: There are plenty of alternatives to conventional advertising.
b. A choice or course of action that is mutually exclusive with another: The alternative to staying in that dead-end job is to quit. See Synonyms at choice.
2. A situation presenting a choice between two mutually exclusive possibilities: people facing the alternative of selling their homes or going bankrupt.
a. Being one of a number of possible choices or courses of action: The highway is closed. Seek alternative routes.
b. Being one of two mutually exclusive choices or courses of action: How effective is the alternative treatment?
c. Substitute or other: Several members of the audience provided alternative views on the topic.
a. Existing outside traditional or established institutions or systems: an alternative lifestyle; alternative energy.
b. Espousing or reflecting values that are different from those of the establishment or mainstream: an alternative newspaper.

al·ter′na·tive·ly adv.
Usage Note: A traditional view holds that alternative should be used only when the number of choices involved is exactly two. This reasoning is based on the word's historical relation to Latin alter, "the other of two." Even in the 1960s, some 58 percent of the Usage Panel did not favor this edict, and now that majority is overwhelming. In 2009, fully 87 percent of the Panel accepted the sentence There are plenty of alternatives to straightforward advertising, and 85 percent accepted There are many new antibiotic alternatives to penicillin. Constructions like a number of alternatives must now be considered standard. · As an adjective, alternative can mean "allowing or requiring a choice between two or more things," as in We wrote an alternative statement in case the first was rejected by the board. It may also refer to a variant or substitute in cases where no choice is involved, as in We will do our best to secure alternative employment for employees displaced by the closing of the factory. In our 2009 survey, 87 percent of the Usage Panel accepted this sentence. Interestingly, only 52 percent accepted alternate when used in the same sentence.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


1. 'alternately'

You use alternately to say that two actions or processes keep happening regularly after each other.

Each piece of material is washed alternately in soft water and coconut oil.
She became alternately angry and calm.
2. 'alternatively'

You use alternatively to give a different explanation from one that has just been mentioned, or to suggest a different course of action.

It is on sale there now for just £9.97. Alternatively, you can buy the album by mail order for just £10.
Alternatively, you can use household bleach.
Collins COBUILD English Usage © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 2004, 2011, 2012
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adv.1.alternatively - in place of, or as an alternative to; "Felix became a herpetologist instead"; "alternatively we could buy a used car"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


adverb or, instead, otherwise, on the other hand, if not, then again, as an alternative, by way of alternative, as another option Allow about 8 hours for the drive. Alternatively, you could fly.
Collins Thesaurus of the English Language – Complete and Unabridged 2nd Edition. 2002 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995, 2002
بِالتَبَادُلبِصُورَة بَدِيلَه
annars, aî öîrum kosti
một cách khác


[ɔːlˈtɜːrnətɪvli] advautrement, sinon
alternatively, one could ... → autrement, il est possible de ..., sinon, il est possible de ...alternative medicine nmédecine f douce
Collins English/French Electronic Resource. © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


advals Alternative, als andere Möglichkeit; or alternatively, he could come with usoder aber, er kommt mit uns mit; a prison sentence of three months or alternatively a fine of £500eine Gefängnisstrafe von drei Monaten oder wahlweise eine Geldstrafe von £ 500
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007


[ɒlˈtɜːnətɪvlɪ] advin alternativa, altrimenti
Collins Italian Dictionary 1st Edition © HarperCollins Publishers 1995


(oːlˈtəːnətiv) adjective
offering a choice of a second possibility. An alternative arrangement can be made if my plans don't suit you.
a choice between two (or sometimes more) things or possibilities. You leave me no alternative but to dismiss you; I don't like fish. Is there an alternative on the menu?
alˈternatively adverb
Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary © 2006-2013 K Dictionaries Ltd.


بِالتَبَادُل jinak alternativt ersatzweise εναλλακτικά opcionalmente vaihtoehtoisesti alternativement alternativno alternativamente 代わりに 교대로 alternatief alternativt alternatywnie alternativamente альтернативно alternativt ซึ่งมีตัวเลือก ya da một cách khác 作为选择
Multilingual Translator © HarperCollins Publishers 2009
References in classic literature ?
'Come, you let me alone,' said the boy, parrying Quilp's hand with both his elbows alternatively. 'You'll get something you won't like if you don't and so I tell you.'
Or is it something complex, perhaps consisting in our way of behaving in the presence of objects, or, alternatively, in the existence in us of things called "ideas," having a certain relation to objects, though different from them, and only symbolically representative of them?
my cake!" said he, rubbing both ears alternatively with his shoulders, which, in such cases, is the supreme sign of discontent.
Demand for new alternatively fuelled cars has fallen for the first time in more than two years, new figures show.
Alternatively you can use the 'Tell us about' option on the Thames Valley Police website - and searching for the 'Report a Crime' section
Alternatively, add eight to 10 lemon leaves to a cup of boiling water.
Anyone with information should contact police on 101 quoting reference number 2308, March 31, or alternatively Crimestoppers can be contacted on 0800 555 111 in confidence.
Alternative certification is defined as teacher preparation via entering the profession through means other than a professional educationally-based teacher preparation program, such as: emergency certification, temporary certification, work-based programs, and structured university and/or private providers of alternatively labeled certification pathways (National Research Council, 2010).
Alternatively e-mail with the subject header 'Bingo Card' alongside your name and address to
Alternatively, you can make use of your local authority's collection or recycling services.

Full browser ?