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[awl-tuh-rey-shuh n] /ˌɔl təˈreɪ ʃən/
the act or process of altering; the state of being altered:
Alteration will improve the dress.
a change; modification or adjustment:
There has been an alteration in our plans.
1350-1400; Middle English alteracioun < Medieval Latin alterātiōn- (stem of alterātiō). See alter, -ation
Related forms
prealteration, noun
proalteration, adjective
realteration, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for alteration
  • alteration cannot change material content of the photo.
  • Since the captioning is taken from the script's files, any alteration between script and shooting is lost.
  • Such an alteration would be needed to allow freshwater fish eggs to survive and travel far in salt water.
  • The rock's high sulfur content and softness are probably evidence of past alteration by water.
  • Maybe the atomically-induced alteration of the magnetic field is playing havoc with your cerebral synapses.
  • Activin receptors are fairly well-understood genes, so a problematic alteration would likely stand out.
  • There is no alteration of the meaning of the image at all.
  • Pollution and alteration of tidal flows are another problem.
  • Scientists think the layers contain opaline silica and iron sulfates formed through alteration by acidic water.
  • It contains about five acres, and it is said the new owners propose to make considerable alteration.
British Dictionary definitions for alteration


an adjustment, change, or modification
the act of altering or state of being altered
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for alteration
late 15c., "action of altering," from Fr. altération (14c.), from M.L. alterationem, from alterare (see alter). Meaning "change in character or appearance" is from 1530s; that of "change in ready-made clothes to suit a customer's specifications" is from 1901
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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