American Dictionary of the English Language

Dictionary Search


ALTERN'ATE, adjective [Latin alternatus.]

1. Being by turns; one following the other in succession of time or place; hence reciprocal.

And bid alternate passions fall and rise.

2. In botany branches and leaves are alternate when they rise higher on opposite sides alternately, come out singly, and follow in gradual order.

Alternate alligation. [See Alligation.]

Alternate angles, in geometry, the internal angles made by a line cutting two parallels, and lying on opposite sides of the cutting line; the one below the first parallel, and the other above the second.

In heraldry, the first and fourth quarters, and the second and third, are usually of the same nature, and are called alternate quarters.

ALTERN'ATE, noun That which happens by turns with something else; vicissitude.

AL'TERNATE, verb transitive [Latin alterno. See Alter. With the accent on the second syllable, the participle alternating can hardly be pronounced.]

To perform by turns, or in succession; to cause to succeed by turns; to change one thing for another reciprocally; as, God alternates good and evil.

AL'TERNATE, verb intransitive

1. To happen or to act by turns; as, the flood and ebb tides alternate with each other.

2. To follow reciprocally in place.

Different species alternating with each other.