alternative

[awl-tur-nuh-tiv, al-]
noun
1.
a choice limited to one of two or more possibilities, as of things, propositions, or courses of action, the selection of which precludes any other possibility: You have the alternative of riding or walking.
2.
one of the things, propositions, or courses of action that can be chosen: The alternative to riding is walking.
3.
a possible or remaining course or choice: There was no alternative but to walk.
adjective
4.
affording a choice of two or more things, propositions, or courses of action.
5.
(of two things, propositions, or courses) mutually exclusive so that if one is chosen the other must be rejected: The alternative possibilities are neutrality and war.
6.
employing or following nontraditional or unconventional ideas, methods, etc.; existing outside the establishment: an alternative newspaper; alternative lifestyles.
7.
Logic. (of a proposition) asserting two or more choices, at least one of which is true.
Also, alternate (for defs 1–4, 6).


Origin:
1580–90; alternate + -ive

alternatively, adverb
alternativeness, alternativity, noun
quasi-alternative, adjective
quasi-alternatively, adverb

alternate, alternative.


1. option, selection. See choice.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To alternative
Collins
World English Dictionary
alternative (ɔːlˈtɜːnətɪv)
 
n
1.  a possibility of choice, esp between two things, courses of action, etc
2.  either of such choices: we took the alternative of walking
 
adj
3.  presenting a choice, esp between two possibilities only
4.  (of two things) mutually exclusive
5.  denoting a lifestyle, culture, art form, etc, regarded by its adherents as preferable to that of contemporary society because it is less conventional, materialistic, or institutionalized, and, often, more in harmony with nature
6.  logic another word for disjunctive
 
al'ternatively
 
adv
 
al'ternativeness
 
n

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Etymonline
Word Origin & History

alternative
1580s, "offering one or the other of two," from M.L. alternativus, from L. alternatus, pp. of alternare (see alternate). Sense of "the other of two which may be chosen" is recorded from 1838. Adj. use, "purporting to be a superior choice to what is in general use" was
current by 1970 (earliest ref. is to the media); e.g. alternative energy (1975).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

alternative

pop music style, built on distorted guitars and rooted in generational discontent, that dominated and changed rock between 1991 and 1996. It burst into the mainstream when "Smells Like Teen Spirit"-the first major-label single from Nirvana, a trio based in Seattle, Washington, U.S.-became a national hit. Suddenly, older, difficult, and even anarchic movements, as well as a previous decade of do-it-yourself college rock, acquired a flashy beachhead on pop radio.

Learn more about alternative with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
Cite This Source
Example sentences
Career choice in an alternative universe: music composer.
The choice must ever be in favor of righteousness, and this whether the
  alternative be peace or whether the alternative be war.
When an alternative movement goes mainstream, it relinquishes its alternative
  credentials.
All artwork must be accompanied by alternative text.
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature
FAVORITES
RECENT

;