Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “alternative”

alternative

adjective uk   /ɒlˈtɜː.nə.tɪv/ us    /ɑːlˈtɝː.nə.t̬ɪv/
B2 (US also alternate) An alternative plan or method is one that you can use if you do not want to use another one: The opposition parties have so far failed to set out an alternative strategy. An alternative venue for the concert is being sought.Different and difference B2 describes things that are considered to be unusual and often have a small but enthusiastic group of people who support them: alternative comedyUnique and unusualGood, better and best in terms of quality

alternative

noun [C] uk   /ɒlˈtɜː.nə.tɪv/ us    /ɑːlˈtɝː.nə.t̬ɪv/
B2 something that is different from something else, especially from what is usual, and offering the possibility of choice: an alternative to coffee There must be an alternative to people sleeping on the streets. I'm afraid I have no alternative but to ask you to leave (= that is what I have to do).Different and difference
(Definition of alternative from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of alternative?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “alternative” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

improvisation

a performance that an actor, musician, etc. has not practised or planned

Word of the Day

Blog

Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More