• Repeated pattern, alternately reversed, forming a linear design
    Repeated pattern, alternately reversed, forming a linear design
  • WordNet 3.6
    • adj alternative necessitating a choice between mutually exclusive possibilities "alternative possibilities were neutrality or war"
    • adj alternative pertaining to unconventional choices "an alternative life style"
    • adj alternative serving or used in place of another "an alternative plan"
    • n alternative one of a number of things from which only one can be chosen "what option did I have?","there no other alternative","my only choice is to refuse"
    • ***

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
    • Alternative A choice between more than two things; one of several things offered to choose among. "My decided preference is for the fourth and last of these alternatives ."
    • Alternative Alternate; reciprocal.
    • Alternative An offer of two things, one of which may be chosen, but not both; a choice between two things, so that if one is taken, the other must be left. "There is something else than the mere alternative of absolute destruction or unreformed existence."
    • Alternative Disjunctive; as, an alternative conjunction.
    • Alternative Either of two things or propositions offered to one's choice. Thus when two things offer a choice of one only, the two things are called alternatives. "Having to choose between two alternatives , safety and war, you obstinately prefer the worse."
    • Alternative Offering a choice of two things.
    • Alternative The course of action or the thing offered in place of another. "If this demand is refused the alternative is war.""With no alternative but death."
    • ***
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"
    • alternative Of two things, such that only one can be selected or only one is possible, etc.; mutually exclusive.
    • alternative Affording a choice between two things, or a possibility of one thing out of two; given or offered for selection, as against something else: as, an alternative proposition; he presented an alternative statement.
    • alternative Alternate; reciprocal. Holland.
    • alternative In botany, having the parts of the inner whorl alternate with the outer: applied to the estivation or arrangement of the parts of the perianth in the bud.
    • n alternative A choice between two things; a possibility of one of two things.
    • n alternative One of two things of which either is possible or may be chosen. In strictness the word cannot be applied to more than two things; when one thing only is possible, there is said to be no alternative.
    • n alternative In the Roman Catholic Church, an arrangement by which the pope nominates to vacant benefices only in alternate months, at other times leaving the nomination to the bishop of the diocese or to the regular patron. The month counted is that in which the benefice becomes vacant.
    • ***
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.
    • adj Alternative offering a choice of two things
    • ***


  • Edward Fredkin's Paradox
    Edward Fredkin's Paradox
    “The more equally attractive two alternatives seem, the harder it can be to choose between them -- no matter that, to the same degree, the choice can only matter less.”
  • Shall Sinha
    Shall Sinha
    “Every single moment of your life you must choose from a number of alternatives. What you choose determines where you will end up.”
  • 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.”
  • Graham Greene
    “If you have abandoned one faith, do not abandon all faith. There is always an alternative to the faith we lose. Or is it the same faith under another mask?”
  • Sally Kempton
    Sally Kempton
    “I became a feminist as an alternative to becoming a masochist.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
Cf. F. alternative, LL. alternativa,
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
L. alter, other.


In literature:

These apparent layers alternate as well as the scars.
"Outlines of Lessons in Botany, Part I; From Seed to Leaf" by Jane H. Newell
The selection of one of these three simple alternatives cannot, surely, be considered an enigma.
"The Art of War" by Baron Henri de Jomini
It leaves only a choice between akosmism and atheism, and, at the same time, it makes each of the alternatives impossible.
"Browning as a Philosophical and Religious Teacher" by Henry Jones
Then the steak, alternated with layers of potato, until the dish is full.
"The Whitehouse Cookbook (1887)" by Mrs. F.L. Gillette
Nor need visits be paid in alternate order.
"Etiquette" by Emily Post
The alternative of sledging down the coast in March and April never seems to have been seriously considered.
"The Worst Journey in the World, Volumes 1 and 2" by Apsley Cherry-Garrard
I should be regarded alternately as a dupe and a scoundrel.
"The Doctor's Dilemma" by Hesba Stretton
But he chose neither alternative.
"The Inside Story Of The Peace Conference" by Emile Joseph Dillon
I give you alternative terms.
"The Man in the Twilight" by Ridgwell Cullum
I wonder if other people have these strange alternations of industry and incapacity.
"The Journal of Sir Walter Scott" by Walter Scott

In poetry:

"Know'st thou not me?" the Deep Voice cried;
"So long enjoy'd, so oft misused—
Alternate, in thy fickle pride,
Desired, neglected, and accused!
"Why Sit'st Thou" by Sir Walter Scott
And they alternate flushed and paled;
Rose tottered, and I feared would fall;
I caught her in supporting arms,
And whispered, "Rose, I heard it all.
"Rose In The Garden" by Horatio Alger Jr
The husband's anger rose!--and red
And white his face alternate grew!
"Less freedom, ma'am!"--Jane sighed and said,
"The Retort." by George Pope Morris
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

In news:

Microsoft's new anti-virus program offers unassuming alternative.
Classic Alternative from the 70's, 80's, & 90's every Sunday morning.
Wake up early every Sunday morning with 2 hours of classic modern rock and alternative from the 70?s, 80?s, & 90?s.
Pete brings you the best alternative rock, new wave, grunge, punk rock, garage rock, protopunk, synthpop, & more from some artists who are nearly forgotten on the radio these days.
Bidding on the black alternate game worn uniforms runs through Nov 16 at noon.
The Australasian Section meets every other year—each alternating year is co-sponsored by regional fats and oils associations.
If you run a Web site, this free alternative can improve form submission rates by up to 40 percent.
Finally, an alternative to the tyranny of passwords.
'Fringe' Producers Say No Alternate Ending for Finale Shot.
Unions urge officials to study alternatives.
Come join KWUR as we celebrate a week of the best in underground, alternative, cutting edge music.
Nature's Alternative: 70 Uses For Baking Soda .
Nature's Alternative: 70 Uses For Baking Soda.
Planina's alternate New Year concert celebrates music of eastern Europe.
San Franciscos Balboa High School has tripled breakfast participation thanks to a grab-and-go program now in its second year, reports the Beyond Chron alternative newspaper.

In science:

Suppose that L is an n-crossing prime alternating link with reduced alternating diagram D, and let G denote the condensation of D.
Enumerating the Prime Alternating Links
We wish to find a finite sequence of T and/or OT S operations which, when applied to D, results in a reduced alternating diagram D ′ of a prime alternating link L′ such that the condensation of D ′ is the result of applying ots to the ots-triangle with nodes A, B , and C in G.
Enumerating the Prime Alternating Links
Recall the sample TOEFL question: Given the problem word levied and the four alternative words imposed, believed, requested, correlated, which of the alternatives is most similar in meaning to the problem word ? Table 1 shows in detail how score3 is calculated for this example.
Mining the Web for Synonyms: PMI-IR versus LSA on TOEFL
While the mechanism for the creation of stripes is not generally agreed upon, the end result is manifestly a state of local charge inhomogeneity of elongated domains of alternating hole rich and hole poor strips. i.e., alternating strips with different effective local chemical potential.
New Model and Numerical Test of a High Temperature Pairing Mechanism in Stripes
Even more, flypes are the only isotopy moves needed in the statement of the celebrated Tait Conjecture for alternating knots, stating that two alternating knots are isotopic if and only if any two corresponding diagrams on S 2 are related by a finite sequence of flypes.
From tangle fractions to DNA