Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “alternative”

alternative

noun [C]     /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 noun from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
Focus on the pronunciation of alternative

Definitions of “alternative” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

neighbourly

friendly or helpful

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