alternate Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo

Meaning of “alternate” in the English Dictionary

"alternate" in British English

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alternateverb

uk   /ˈɒl.tə.neɪt/  us   /ˈɑːl.t̬ɚ-/
C1 [I usually + adv/prep] to ​happen or ​exist one after the other ​repeatedly: She alternated betweencheerfulness and ​deepdespair. [T usually + adv/prep] to make something ​happen or ​exist one after the other ​repeatedly: He alternated ​working in the ​office withlongtoursoverseas.

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alternateadjective [before noun]

uk   /ɒlˈtɜː.nət/  us   /ɑːlˈtɝː-/

alternatenoun [C]

alternately
adverb uk   /ɒlˈtɜː.nət.li/  us   /ɑːlˈtɝː-/
The ​film is alternately ​depressing and ​amusing.
alternating
adjective uk   /ˈɒl.tə.neɪ.tɪŋ/  us   /ˈɑːl.t̬ɚ.neɪ.t̬ɪŋ/
alternating ​moods of ​anger and ​sadness
(Definition of alternate from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"alternate" in American English

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alternateverb [I/T]

 us   /ˈɔl·tərˌneɪt/
to ​cause two things to ​happen or ​exist one after the other: [I] The ​children alternated between being ​excited and being ​tired. [T] I like to alternate ​physical and ​intellectualactivities.

alternateadjective [not gradable]

 us   /ˈɔl·tər·nət/
every second, or every other: I ​visit my ​father on alternate ​weekends. Note: Used only about sets of two.

alternatenoun [C]

 us   /ˈɔl·tər·nət/
one that can take the ​place of another: David was too ​sick to ​attend, so Janet ​served as his alternate.
(Definition of alternate from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"alternate" in Business English

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alternatenoun [C]

uk   us   /ˈɒltənət/ US
WORKPLACE a ​person who does another person's ​job when they are ill or away: He was ​dismissed and ​replaced with an alternate.
(Definition of alternate from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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“alternate” in American English

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