alternate

On a checkerboard, black squares alternate with white ones. As a verb, alternate means to do something in turns. As a noun, an alternate is a replacement.

While the noun and verb seem not to mean the same thing, think of it this way: If you are brought on in a game to be someone's alternate, you are there to take their turn. Alternate can also be used as an adjective, meaning different or other. An alternate view of history is one that looks at the past from an uncommon perspective. Pay attention to the pronunciation of alternate: as a verb the end is pronounced "-nāt" and as a noun or adjective "-nət."

Primary Meanings of alternate

1.
v
go back and forth; swing back and forth between two states or conditions
2.
vnadj
do something in turns
someone who takes the place of another person
occurring by turns; first one and then the other
3.
adj
of leaves and branches etc; first on one side and then on the other in two ranks along an axis; not paired
Full Definitions of alternate
1

v go back and forth; swing back and forth between two states or conditions

Synonyms:
jump
Type of:
alter, change, vary
become different in some particular way, without permanently losing one's or its former characteristics or essence

v reverse (a direction, attitude, or course of action)

Synonyms:
flip, flip-flop, interchange, switch, tack
Type of:
change by reversal, reverse, turn
change to the contrary
2

v do something in turns

Synonyms:
take turns
Types:
spell
take turns working
Type of:
act, move
perform an action, or work out or perform (an action)

v exchange people temporarily to fulfill certain jobs and functions

Types:
rotate
exchange on a regular basis
Type of:
exchange
hand over one and receive another, approximately equivalent

v be an understudy or alternate for a role

Synonyms:
understudy
Type of:
con, learn, memorise, memorize
commit to memory; learn by heart

n someone who takes the place of another person

Synonyms:
replacement, surrogate
Type of:
backup, backup man, fill-in, relief, reliever, stand-in, substitute
someone who takes the place of another (as when things get dangerous or difficult)

adj occurring by turns; first one and then the other

alternating feelings of love and hate”
Synonyms:
alternating
cyclic, cyclical
recurring in cycles

adj serving or used in place of another

Synonyms:
alternative, substitute
secondary
being of second rank or importance or value; not direct or immediate

adj every second one of a series

“the cleaning lady comes on alternate Wednesdays”
Synonyms:
cyclic, cyclical
recurring in cycles
3

adj of leaves and branches etc; first on one side and then on the other in two ranks along an axis; not paired

“stems with alternate leaves”
Antonyms:
opposite, paired
of leaves etc; growing in pairs on either side of a stem

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