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Synonyms of alternative in English:


  • 1 an alternative route
    different, other, another, second, possible, substitute, replacement, alternate;
    standby, emergency, reserve, backup, auxiliary, fallback
  • 2 an alternative lifestyle
    unorthodox, unconventional, nonstandard, unusual, uncommon, out of the ordinary, radical, revolutionary, nonconformist, avant-garde
  • noun

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  • 1 we have no alternative
    option, choice, other possibility;
    substitute, replacement
  • Usage

    alternative, alternate

    1 Alternate can be a verb, noun, or adjective, while alternative can be a noun or adjective. In both American and British English, the adjective alternate means ‘every other’ ( there will be a dance on alternate Saturdays) and the adjective alternative means ‘available as another choice’ ( an alternative route; alternative medicine; alternative energy sources). In American usage, however, alternate can also be used to mean ‘available as another choice’: an alternate plan called for construction to begin immediately rather than waiting for spring. Likewise, a book club may offer an alternate selection as an alternative to the main selection. 2 Some traditionalists maintain, from an etymological standpoint, that you can have only two alternatives—from the Latin alter ‘other (of two); the other’—and that uses of more than two alternatives are erroneous. Such uses are, however, normal in modern standard English
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