• Repeated pattern, alternately reversed, forming a linear design
    Repeated pattern, alternately reversed, forming a linear design
  • WordNet 3.6
    • adj alternate occurring by turns; first one and then the other "alternating feelings of love and hate"
    • adj alternate every second one of a series "the cleaning lady comes on alternate Wednesdays","jam every other day"- the White Queen"
    • adj alternate of leaves and branches etc; first on one side and then on the other in two ranks along an axis; not paired "stems with alternate leaves"
    • adj alternate serving or used in place of another "an alternative plan"
    • v alternate do something in turns "We take turns on the night shift"
    • v alternate go back and forth; swing back and forth between two states or conditions
    • v alternate reverse (a direction, attitude, or course of action)
    • v alternate be an understudy or alternate for a role
    • v alternate exchange people temporarily to fulfill certain jobs and functions
    • n alternate someone who takes the place of another person
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:

Blue Dogwood. Alternate-leaved Dogwood Blue Dogwood. Alternate-leaved Dogwood
Alternate leaves Alternate leaves

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Honorificabilitudinitatibus is the longest English word that consists strictly of alternating consonants and vowels
    • Alternate (Math) A proportion derived from another proportion by interchanging the means.
    • Alternate A substitute; one designated to take the place of another, if necessary, in performing some duty.
    • Alternate Being or succeeding by turns; one following the other in succession of time or place; by turns first one and then the other; hence, reciprocal. "And bid alternate passions fall and rise."
    • Alternate Designating the members in a series, which regularly intervene between the members of another series, as the odd or even numbers of the numerals; every other; every second; as, the alternate members 1, 3, 5, 7, etc. ; read every alternate line.
    • Alternate (Bot) Distributed, as leaves, singly at different heights of the stem, and at equal intervals as respects angular divergence.
    • Alternate That which alternates with something else; vicissitude. "Grateful alternates of substantial."
    • Alternate To happen, succeed, or act by turns; to follow reciprocally in place or time; -- followed by with; as, the flood and ebb tides alternate with each other. "Rage, shame, and grief alternate in his breast.""Different species alternating with each other."
    • v. t Alternate To perform by turns, or in succession; to cause to succeed by turns; to interchange regularly. "The most high God, in all things appertaining unto this life, for sundry wise ends alternates the disposition of good and evil."
    • Alternate To vary by turns; as, the land alternates between rocky hills and sandy plains.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: Probably the best known multiple meaning is the hebrew word "SHALOM" which means, alternately, "hello", "good-bye", and "peace"
    • alternate To do or perform by turns, or in succession.
    • alternate To cause to succeed or follow one another in time or place reciprocally; interchange reciprocally.
    • alternate To follow one another in time or place reciprocally: generally followed by with: as, the flood and ebb tides alternate one with the other.
    • alternate To pass from one state, action, or place to a second, back to the first, and so on indefinitely: used with between, and sometimes with from: as, he alternates between hope and despair, or from one extreme to another; the country alternates between woods and open fields.
    • alternate Being by turns; following each the other, recurringly, in succession of time or place; hence, reciprocal.
    • alternate Specifically, in botany: Placed at unequal heights upon the axis: as, alternate leaves, which are solitary at the nodes, in distinction from opposite or verticillate.
    • alternate Opposite to the intervals between organs: as, petals which are alternate with sepals, or stamens with petals.
    • alternate Belonging to a series between the two members of every pair in which a member of another series intervenes; having one intervening between the two of each pair; every second: as, to read only the alternate lines; the odd numbers form one series of alternate numerals, the even numbers another.
    • alternate Consisting of alternating parts or members; proceeding by alternation: as, an alternate series; alternate riming; alternate proportion.
    • alternate In cryptogamic bot, the passage of a plant through a succession of unlike generations before the initial form is reproduced. Usually the succession is one in which one sexually produced form alternates with another produced asexually. The alternation of those sexually produced may be with those parthenogenetically produced (heterogenesis or heterogamy, which see), or with those produced by budding (metagenesis).
    • n alternate That which happens by turns with something else; vicissitude.
    • n alternate In political conventions and some other representative bodies, one authorized to take the place of another in his absence; a substitute.
    • alternate In elect, same as alternating.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced in 1978 that it would alternate men's and women's names in the naming of hurricanes. It was seen as an attempt at fair play. Hurricanes had been named for women for years, until NOAA succumbed to pressure from women's groups who were demanding that Atlantic storms be given unisex names.
    • v.t Alternate al′tėr-nāt or al-tėr′nāt to cause to follow by turns or one after the other
    • v.i Alternate to happen by turns: to follow every other or second time—also Al′ternise
    • Alternate one after the other: by turns
    • n Alternate a choice between two things
    • v.t Alternate al′tėr-nāt or al-tėr′nāt, to cause to follow by turns or one after the other
    • ***


  • Thornton Wilder
    “For what human ill does dawn not seem to be alternative?”
  • Francois Truffaut
    Francois Truffaut
    “When humor can be made to alternate with melancholy, one has a success, but when the same things are funny and melancholic at the same time, it's just wonderful.”
  • Sally Kempton
    Sally Kempton
    “I became a feminist as an alternative to becoming a masochist.”
  • Ryszard Kapuscinski
    “Be careful: they have arms, and no alternatives.”
  • Archibald Macleish
    “What is freedom? Freedom is the right to choose: the right to create for oneself the alternatives of choice.”
  • Doug Horton
    “It's not a question of happiness, it's a requirement. Consider the alternative.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L. alternatus, p. p. of alternate, fr. alternus,. See Altern Alter
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
L. alter, other.


In literature:

But they dared not openly adopt the alternative theory: the States would not have borne it.
"A History of the United States" by Cecil Chesterton
Then arises an alternative.
"Folkways" by William Graham Sumner
Put alternate slices of tomatoes and pineapple on lettuce leaves and put a large spoonful mayonnaise over each.
"The Community Cook Book" by Anonymous
I do not see,' he replies, 'how we can escape from the last alternative.
"Fragments of science, V. 1-2" by John Tyndall
Remember, sir, that I only refer to this as a last alternative.
"A Report of the Debates and Proceedings in the Secret Sessions of the Conference Convention" by Lucius Eugene Chittenden
And Big Tom was alternately cursing and ordering.
"The Rich Little Poor Boy" by Eleanor Gates
Lastly, observe the solemn alternative to growth.
"Expositions of Holy Scripture" by Alexander Maclaren
The town watched the operations with alternate scorn and interest.
"Mr. Opp" by Alice Hegan Rice
Some of the alternatives are matters of every-day thought and speech.
"The Approach to Philosophy" by Ralph Barton Perry
This method is even quicker if players march in columns of twos or fours, alternate ranks turning to alternate sides.
"Games for the Playground, Home, School and Gymnasium" by Jessie H. Bancroft

In poetry:

Alas! I fear my native snows; —
A clime too cold, a heart too warm —
Alternate chills —alternate glows —
Too fiercely threat my flower-like form.
"Lines" by Maria Gowen Brooks
An' when yer full o' them alternate rhymes --
As all the true push poits is at times --
Jist ring the changes, as I'm doin' now;
An' find ixcuse to say: "The bloomin' cow!"
"A Guide for Poits" by C J Dennis
Not loud she wept—but hope could hear;
Sweet hope, who in his lifelong race
Made terms, to win the goal from fear,
That each alternate step should trace
A smile and tear.
"Kadisha; Or, The First Jealousy" by Richard Doddridge Blackmore
There was a time when even slavery's chain
Held in some joys to alternate with pain,
Some little light to give the night relief,
Some little smiles to take the place of grief.
"To The South" by Paul Laurence Dunbar
Then spout alternate, I consent to hear,—
Let no false rime offend my critic ear;—
But say, what prizes shall the victor hold?
I guess your pockets are not lined with gold!
"A School Eclogue" by Anna Laetitia Aikin Barbauld
Some thought him so poor, so hopelessly mangled,
That to assist him would do him no good;
And each with the other alternately wrangled,
What was best for him—removal or food.
"The Captive" by Benjamin Cutler Clark

In news:

Forget clean French braids and wear these textured alternatives instead.
Nuclear Suit Accuses Payette County of Assisting Alternate Energy Holdings' 'Hair- Brained Schemes'.
A new lawsuit against Alternate Energy Holdings - the Eagle-based company that promises to build a nuclear reactor in Payette County - has named Payette County as a co-defendant.
The Gentilly Stage is home to indie rock and alternative acts.
The calculator was based on the article The breakeven costs of alternative feedstocks for cellulosic biofuels, which was published in Aspects of Applied Biology.
An alternative subtitle could be Madonna Goes Broadway in a Major Way.
This has meant creating a slew of inventive alternatives to be used in its place.
Best known for it's haunted castle of the past, Brigantine is a quiet Jersey Shore alternative just east of the hustle and bustle of Atlantic City.
Cooked shrimp or lump crab is a fine alternative to lobster.
The continued shortage of methyl bromide and viable alternatives will negatively impact crop production in the US and lead to higher dependence on imported food sources.
There are advances in an alternative treatment for migraines that ABC7 News first told you about when it was in its earliest stages.
Jason Limon's "She is an Everlasting Resource" (left) and Kelly Vivanco's "Bag of Colors" share space at Alternative Cafe starting Friday.
I would like to suggest a taxpayer-friendly alternative.
Santorum the Conservative Alternative to Romney.
A state program offering alternatives to the traditional one-car, lone-wolf commute is an idea whose time has come – and not a minute too soon for Barbie Lee.

In science:

In this thesis we consider the second maximal subgroups of the flnite alternating and symmetric groups, the maximal subgroups having been discussed in [LPS87]. P¶alfy [P¶al88] started things ofi by dealing with second maximal subgroups of the alternating groups of prime degree.
Second maximal subgroups of the finite alternating and symmetric groups
In the latter case, it is contained in the stabilizer of that point in the alternating group, in another 2-primitive group which is conjugate to the given one in the parent symmetric group (but not in the alternating group), and in nothing else.
Second maximal subgroups of the finite alternating and symmetric groups
This alternative approach also allows one to make explicit an alternative description of the rate function, yielding additional properties of the annealed rate function. 2.
On the annealed large deviation rate function for a multi-dimensional random walk in random environment
Time-of-flight traces comparing alternate and standard techniques. (a) Time-of-flight traces showing the arrival time of the decelerated peaks using both the standard and alternate methods of slowing.
High-energy-resolution molecular beams for cold collision studies
Conjectures. A knot diagram is m-almost alternating if it becomes to be alternating after changing some m-crossings, and a knot is said to be m-almost alternating if it has an m-almost alternating diagram but no m − 1-almost alternating diagram.
Waist and trunk of knots