Definition of “alternative” - English Dictionary

“alternative” in British 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)