Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

alternate

 - definition
Close

What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.

Close

Thesaurus

The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary entries. Click on the T button in an entry to review the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

more
verb alternate pronunciation in British English /ˈɔːltə(r)neɪt/ 
Word Forms
Close
present tense
I/you/we/theyalternate
he/she/italternates
present participlealternating
past tensealternated
past participlealternated

Related dictionary definitions

  1. 2
    [intransitive/transitive] to choose one thing or situation and then another, and keep repeating that pattern

    Lay the shapes on the fabric, alternating the colours.

    alternate something with something:

    The course allows students to alternate work with education.

    She alternated blues and gospel songs throughout the evening.

    The White House has alternated between tough talk and silence.

derived word

alternation

 alternate pronunciation in British English /ˌɔːltə(r)ˈneɪʃ(ə)n/  noun [countable/uncountable]
Word Forms
Close
singularalternation
pluralalternations

pre-roll

a video advertisement that appears immediately before an online video

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary

breakfast rave

a rave … that takes place early in the morning and where there is no alcohol or drugs …

add a word

Blog

A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog