What does alternative mean?

Definitions for alternative
ɔlˈtɜr nə tɪv, æl-al·ter·na·tive

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word alternative.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. option, alternative, choiceadjective

    one of a number of things from which only one can be chosen

    "what option did I have?"; "there no other alternative"; "my only choice is to refuse"

  2. alternate, alternative, substituteadjective

    serving or used in place of another

    "an alternative plan"

  3. alternativeadjective

    necessitating a choice between mutually exclusive possibilities

    "alternative possibilities were neutrality or war"

  4. alternativeadjective

    pertaining to unconventional choices

    "an alternative life style"


  1. alternativenoun

    A situation which allows a mutually exclusive choice between two or more possibilities; a choice between two or more possibilities.

  2. alternativenoun

    One of several mutually exclusive things which can be chosen.

  3. alternativenoun

    The remaining option; something available after other possibilities have been exhausted.

  4. alternativeadjective

    Relating to a choice between two or more possibilities

  5. alternativeadjective

    Not traditional (an alternative lifestyle)

  6. alternativeadjective


  7. Etymology: From alternatif, from alternativus, from the participle stem of alternare. Compare alternate.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Alternativenoun

    The choice given of two things; so that if one be rejected, the other must be taken.

    Etymology: alternatis, Fr.

    A strange alternative ————
    Must ladies have a doctor, or a dance? Edward Young.


  1. alternative

    Alternative refers to one or more options or choices available as a substitute or replacement to the existing one. It generally denotes the possibility of choice between two or more things. In broader context, it can also represent unconventional or non-traditional method or approach towards a situation or problem.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Alternativeadjective

    offering a choice of two things

  2. Alternativeadjective

    disjunctive; as, an alternative conjunction

  3. Alternativeadjective

    alternate; reciprocal

  4. Alternativenoun

    an offer of two things, one of which may be chosen, but not both; a choice between two things, so that if one is taken, the other must be left

  5. Alternativenoun

    either of two things or propositions offered to one's choice. Thus when two things offer a choice of one only, the two things are called alternatives

  6. Alternativenoun

    the course of action or the thing offered in place of another

  7. Alternativenoun

    a choice between more than two things; one of several things offered to choose among

  8. Etymology: [Cf. F. alternative, LL. alternativa.]


  1. Alternative

    Alternative is the compilation album by English synthpop duo Pet Shop Boys. It was first released in 1995. Alternative is a 2-disc set, consisting of 30 B-sides in chronological order. The title Alternative was a last-minute change from the title that had been long saved for such an album, Besides, but that title was taken by American rock band Sugar, who released their own B-sides compilation two months prior. Alternative only really gained popularity among devoted fans of Pet Shop Boys with the exception of the UK, where it entered the charts at #2. A remake of the original 7-inch "Paninaro" entitled "Paninaro '95" was released as a single in order to promote the 2-disc compilation. The cover of Alternative features photographs of Tennant and Lowe in fencing masks. The first copies of the CD have a lenticular image on the cover which shifts between the two photographs. Neil Tennant admitted in a radio interview with Absolute Radio that a second B-side album may be released in 2010. This materialised on 11 November 2011 when the duo announced through Varsity that they would release another B-sides album in February 2012 titled Format.

Editors Contribution

  1. alternative

    An equal choice.

    There is an alternative to their proposed wedding venue and they are creating a way to achieve it together easily.

    Submitted by MaryC on March 1, 2020  

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'alternative' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #2036

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'alternative' in Written Corpus Frequency: #3251

  3. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'alternative' in Nouns Frequency: #888

  4. Adjectives Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'alternative' in Adjectives Frequency: #270

How to pronounce alternative?

How to say alternative in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of alternative in Chaldean Numerology is: 1

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of alternative in Pythagorean Numerology is: 1

Examples of alternative in a Sentence

  1. John Kenneth Galbraith:

    Liberalism is, I think, resurgent. One reason is that more and more people are so painfully aware of the alternative.

  2. Sanjeev Nanda:

    With Alternative Psyches come alternative failures.

  3. Ben Judah:

    The very idea that people know about an alternative to Putin the way Americans know about an alternative to Obama like the Republicans is just laughable.

  4. President Tayyip Erdogan:

    TANAP has a special importance because of its route and its goal and is not an alternative project to others and there is not an alternative to it.

  5. Marco Rubio:

    Until there's some consolidation here, you're not going to have a clear alternative to Donald Trump, if we don't come together, we're never going to be able to provide a clear alternative to the direction that Donald Trump wants to take the Republican Party and the country.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for alternative

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

Get even more translations for alternative »


Find a translation for the alternative definition in other languages:

Select another language:

  • - Select -
  • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
  • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
  • Español (Spanish)
  • Esperanto (Esperanto)
  • 日本語 (Japanese)
  • Português (Portuguese)
  • Deutsch (German)
  • العربية (Arabic)
  • Français (French)
  • Русский (Russian)
  • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
  • 한국어 (Korean)
  • עברית (Hebrew)
  • Gaeilge (Irish)
  • Українська (Ukrainian)
  • اردو (Urdu)
  • Magyar (Hungarian)
  • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
  • Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Italiano (Italian)
  • தமிழ் (Tamil)
  • Türkçe (Turkish)
  • తెలుగు (Telugu)
  • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
  • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
  • Čeština (Czech)
  • Polski (Polish)
  • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Românește (Romanian)
  • Nederlands (Dutch)
  • Ελληνικά (Greek)
  • Latinum (Latin)
  • Svenska (Swedish)
  • Dansk (Danish)
  • Suomi (Finnish)
  • فارسی (Persian)
  • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
  • հայերեն (Armenian)
  • Norsk (Norwegian)
  • English (English)

Word of the Day

Would you like us to send you a FREE new word definition delivered to your inbox daily?

Please enter your email address:


Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:


"alternative." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 26 Sep. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/alternative>.

Discuss these alternative definitions with the community:


    Are we missing a good definition for alternative? Don't keep it to yourself...

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Chrome

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Firefox

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Browse Definitions.net


    Are you a words master?

    return to its original or usable and functioning condition
    • A. restore
    • B. depend
    • C. deny
    • D. inspire

    Nearby & related entries:

    Alternative searches for alternative: