Definition of alternately in English:



  • 1With two things continually following and succeeded by each other; one after the other.

    ‘she sounds alternately confused and confident’
    • ‘I begin with the assumption that art and politics never fit together neatly—they alternately diverge and intersect.’
    • ‘I like comedy and I like bleak, but the mixture is like someone alternately shoveling ice cream and steak into my mouth.’
    • ‘They are glazed in greenish-black and pale brown, the colors laid alternately to form a simple checkerboard.’
    • ‘Death conceals and reveals himself alternately and to different degrees.’
    • ‘Their roles gradually reverse, and the family members alternately turn to and on each other.’
    • ‘The external treatment of the house reveals a layering with metal and concrete panels alternately veiling and revealing inner glass boxes.’
    • ‘Gone are the days of planting just wheat every other year, alternately leaving soil fallow to perhaps store precious water.’
    • ‘The scenes are played alternately as comedy and tragedy.’
    • ‘Having chosen to ride on his considerable reputation, the curator has assembled a show that feels alternately meandering and hasty.’
    • ‘The gruff and blustery painter was alternately rejected and embraced by critics and the art public over his subject matter and style.’
  • 2North American sentence adverb As another option or possibility; alternatively.

    ‘alternately, slice the cake in two when completely cooled and spread raspberry jam between the two halves’
    • ‘Alternately, if you happen to run into them while they're out carousing, have them fill you in.’
    • ‘It raises the question of whether they will avoid resorting to a new round of military dictatorships, or, alternately, be swept away by social revolution.’
    • ‘Alternately, it doesn't hurt to find someone smoking tea-leaves and trail along behind them.’
    • ‘Alternately, you might just want to dance.’
    • ‘Alternately, these findings may be reassuring for other centers where ischemic time is usually below five hours.’
    • ‘Alternately, imagine what it would be like to be confronted by a set of concepts whose application was internally inconsistent.’
    • ‘Alternately, it is possible that there is a defect in macrophage production in these animals.’
    • ‘Alternately, forest activists may come under scrutiny by some for provoking anger and hostility amongst loggers.’
    • ‘Got some old electronics kicking around the house—or alternately, do you wish you had some?’
    • ‘Alternately, length and initiation of therapy could be based on severity of symptoms experienced by the patient.’