Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “alternative”

See all translations

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.B2 Alternative things are considered to be unusual and often have a small but enthusiastic group of people who support them: alternative comedy
More examples

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).
More examples
(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

pup

a baby of particular animals, or a puppy

Word of the Day

I won’t tolerate it! Replacing formal words with phrasal verbs.

by Liz Walter,
April 01, 2015
When you are using a language, it is important to understand if a word is formal or informal, so that you can use it in an appropriate way. You might hear people saying dosh for money, or spud for potato, but they wouldn’t write those words in a formal essay. Similarly, a

Read More 

stackin’ p

March 30, 2015
idiom slang earning a lot of money ‘That’s a very generous present.”Yeah, well, she’s stackin’ p, innit?’

Read More