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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.
Origin of alteration
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. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for alteration
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • They had done their best; nothing more was possible in the way of addition or alteration—for good or ill the die was cast.

    A College Girl Mrs. George de Horne Vaizey
  • If, upon perusal of them, you think any alteration necessary, it shall be made.

    Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9) Samuel Richardson
  • The colour will not be subject to any alteration when the distance and the quality of air have a reciprocal proportion.

    A Treatise on Painting Leonardo Da Vinci
  • But, here, it must be distinctly understood, is no alteration produced by climate.

    Life: Its True Genesis R. W. Wright
  • Besides the alteration that two years sometimes makes in a man, Jasper had made a considerable alteration on himself.

    Away in the Wilderness R.M. Ballantyne
  • Every shade of alteration in them I was familiar with, for their changes were not many.

    Wilfrid Cumbermede George MacDonald
  • This necessarily results in the alteration or omission of these features, and hence arise many modifications of original forms.

  • I certainly was very much struck at his alteration for the worse.

    Vivian Grey Earl of Beaconsfield, Benjamin Disraeli
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 14c., "action of altering," from Old French alteracion (14c.) "change, alteration," and directly from Medieval Latin alterationem (nominative alteratio), noun of action from past participle stem of Late Latin 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. Related: Alterations.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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