Meaning of “alternative” in the English Dictionary

"alternative" in English

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alternativeadjective

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

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alternativenoun [ 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).

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(Definition of “alternative” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"alternative" in American English

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alternativenoun [ C ]

us /ɔlˈtɜr·nə·t̬ɪv/

something that is different, esp. from what is usual; a choice:

You can make it look good by comparing it to a crummy alternative.
I have no alternative but to ask you to leave.

alternativeadjective [ not gradable ]

us /ɔlˈtɜr·nə·t̬ɪv/

offering a choice between two or more things:

People stay because they don’t have alternative opportunities.

Alternative medicine is a wide range of treatments for medical conditions that people use instead of, or with, Western medicine.

(Definition of “alternative” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

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alternative

The report makes clear that it is very important for the further development of foie gras production to introduce alternative techniques that do not require force-feeding in an intensive way.
If it transpires that by means of stem cells, defects and injuries of the human body can be corrected, then it is short-sighted to rule out this alternative in advance.
Subject to successful sea trials we believe that scrubbing can indeed be considered as an alternative to low-sulphur fuels and not just for the proposed second-phase limit of 0.5%.
Consequently, research and development in the field of alternative energy sources is conducted and funded within the framework of the framework programme.
I would have some dispute with you with regard to thermo-nuclear fusion being an alternative energy source, because it already exists.
I am in favour of banning animal testing, provided, of course, that reliable alternative tests are available, in particular with regard to metabolites.
Furthermore, adaptations of engines are also necessary for other alternative fuels which do benefit from tax exemption: hydrogen, liquefied natural gas, electricity, etc.
Whatever the benefits of the alternative methods of dispute settlement, the consumer should not be deprived of the possibility of a remedy.
The tighter fuel sulphur limits proposed in today's report are linked to the possible use of exhaust-gas cleaning technology or scrubbing, as an alternative means of compliance.
I do not think, however, that systematically implementing the principle of preference for women candidates for positions of leadership is a suitable alternative, as long as this imbalance persists.