alternate - definition and synonyms


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present tense
present participlealternating
past tensealternated
past participlealternated
  1. 1
    [intransitive] if one thing alternates with another, they happen or come one after another, in a regular pattern that keeps being repeated
    alternate with:

    Wet days alternated with dry ones.

    1. a.
      if someone or something alternates between two things, they keep changing between them
      alternate between:

      His mood alternates between joy and despair.

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



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noun [countable/uncountable]