To better see sample sentences using the word
please enable javascript.

Go to New Version of This Page
This old version has not been updated since 2016,
but we're leaving it in case you prefer it.
Show What's New
Please update your links from the new version.
Sample Sentences Using
alternative -- as in: an alternative plan
Show Multiple Meanings
Go to Home Page
as in: an alternative plan Define
something available as another possibility
  • Let’s think of at least three alternatives before we decide what to do.
  • Can anyone think of a better alternative?
  • Alternatively, we could pack for a picnic and eat in the park.
  • Elizabeth, feeling really anxious, was determined to go to her, though the carriage was not to be had; and as she was no horsewoman, walking was her only alternative.
    Jane Austen  --  Pride and Prejudice

  • Show more
  • "And as for the man who advised forming this camp—the Drissa camp," said Paulucci, ... "I see no alternative but the lunatic asylum or the gallows!"
    Leo Tolstoy  --  War and Peace
  • This flood of tears left Mr. Sowerberry no alternative. If he had hesitated for one instant to punish Oliver most severely, it must be quite clear to every experienced reader that he would have been, according to all precedents in disputes of matrimony established, a brute, an unnatural husband, an insulting creature, a base imitation of a man, and...
    Charles Dickens  --  Oliver Twist
  • There is no alternative, I assure you.
    Arthur Conan Doyle  --  The Hound of the Baskervilles
  • Dantes put his plate on the ground near the door; the jailer, as he entered, stepped on it and broke it. ... [The jailer] looked about for something to pour the soup into; Dantes’ entire dinner service consisted of one plate—there was no alternative. "Leave the saucepan," said Dantes; "you can take it away when you bring me my breakfast."
    Alexandre Dumas  --  The Count of Monte Cristo
  • He said: "Got any alternative theory?"
    Agatha Christie  --  And Then There Were None
  • In which case, the name of another architect, one Gordon L. Prescott, has been mentioned most favorably as an alternative.
    Ayn Rand  --  The Fountainhead

  • Show more again
  • The men were perfectly content to fly as many missions as we asked as long as they thought they had no alternative.
    Joseph Heller  --  Catch-22
  • [referring to the exam paper]  Bring it here, please. It was a very dirty trick, but I went over and brought it over to him—I didn’t have any alternative or anything.
    J.D. Salinger  --  The Catcher in the Rye
  • [regarding Saunière’s murder]  "Consider the alternative. Something had to be done. Shall the world be ignorant forever?"
    Dan Brown  --  The Da Vinci Code
  • "So even Peter might be a better alternative."
    "Once you realize that power will always end up with the sort of people who crave it, I think that there are worse people who could have it than Peter."
    Orson Scott Card  --  Ender’s Game
  • But many copies contain the true account (as an alternative), derived no doubt from notes by Frodo or Samwise, both of whom learned the truth, though they seem to have been unwilling to delete anything actually written by the old hobbit himself.
    J.R.R. Tolkien  --  The Fellowship of the Ring
  • There was no alternative. [when Harry sacrificed Ron to win the chess game]
    J.K. Rowling  --  Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
  • Harry had never known so many people to put their names down to stay at Hogwarts for Christmas; he always did, of course, because the alternative was usually going back to Privet Drive, but he had always been very much in the minority before now.
    J.K. Rowling  --  Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
  • I spent that day mostly in the woods, having the alternative before me,—to go home and be whipped to death, or stay in the woods and be starved to death.
    Frederick Douglass  --  The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass
  • I gave myself leave, to consider the other alternative; that my appeal was successful. And then the trouble was to calm down that sudden rush of joy racing through my body and even bringing tears to my eyes.
    Albert Camus  --  The Stranger
  • "Good heavens!" said Mr. Bunting, hesitating between two horrible alternatives.
    H.G. Wells  --  The Invisible Man
  • I actually aspired to cowardice, because the alternative, the real reason I was running, was that Assef was right: Nothing was free in this world.
    Khaled Hosseini  --  The Kite Runner
  • They did not submit to the obvious alternative, which was simply to close the eyes and fall. So easy, really. Go limp and tumble to the ground and let the muscles unwind and not speak and not budge until your buddies picked you up and lifted you into the chopper that would roar and dip its nose and carry you off to the world.
    Tim O’Brien  --  The Things They Carried
  • You gave me two alternatives that you could live with, and I chose the one that I could live with. That’s how compromise is supposed to work.
    Stephenie Meyer  --  Eclipse
  • It wasn’t until the third holding pattern southwest of Kennedy Airport that Klotz told ATC that he didn’t think the plane had enough fuel to reach an alternative airport.
    Malcolm Gladwell  --  Outliers
  • The alternative wasn’t good either, of course.
    Sarah Dessen  --  Just Listen
  • Though he still didn’t like me in the house if he wasn’t there, he nonetheless allowed me to come in. I knew that part of the reason had to do with the fact that he didn’t want Jamie to get chilled by sitting on the porch, and the only other alternative was to wait at the house while I was there. But I think Hegbert needed some time alone, too, and that was the real reason for the change.
    Nicholas Sparks  --  A Walk to Remember
  • It’s risky business — Peeta may end up losing his leg — but when I weigh this against him losing his life, what alternative do I have? I bandage the wound in the rest of my shirt and lay down with him.
    Suzanne Collins  --  The Hunger Games
  • Of course, we had then no alternative but to accept.
    Bram Stoker  --  Dracula
  • But you’re right, there are legal alternatives.
    Barbara Kingsolver  --  The Bean Trees
  • The accepted opinion was that Saddam had a mobile spinning program which could not easily be found, and in fact could be either lost and buried in the desert or alternatively driven across the border into Syria or even Jordan.
    Marcus Luttrell  --  Lone Survivor
  • Phrase alternatives as questions: Instead of "I think we should do A, not B," try "What if we did A, instead of B?"
    Randy Pausch  --  The Last Lecture
  • Of course the alternative was Tateh would pull his belt off and skin you alive.
    James McBride  --  The Color of Water
  • And if marriage was not achieved, there were alternative roles: teacher, librarian, or…well, something intelligent and public-spirited.
    Toni Morrison  --  Song of Solomon
  • It felt like such a stupid thing to say, so obvious, but there seemed little alternative.
    Markus Zusak  --  The Book Thief
  • "But all right," went on the rumblings, "so what’s the alternative?"
    Douglas Adams  --  The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
  • Mother’s reasons for saving me were as complicated as fate itself, I suppose. Among other things, her alternatives were limited.
    Barbara Kingsolver  --  The Poisonwood Bible
  • There were also a special few with energetic fathers who were expecting appointments to Annapolis or West Point or the Coast Guard Academy or even—this alternative had been unexpectedly stumbled on—the Merchant Marine Academy.
    John Knowles  --  A Separate Peace
  • Three pages outlining the idea, the details, and the lie. Which was that a hard working and respected colored maid has agreed to let me interview her and describe in specifics what it’s like to work for the white women of our town. Weighing it against the alternative, that I planned to ask a colored woman for help, saying she’d already agreed to it seemed infinitely more attractive.
    Kathryn Stockett  --  The Help
  • I don’t have a talent, unless you count hunting illegally, which they don’t. Or maybe singing, which I wouldn’t do for the Capitol in a million years. My mother tried to interest me in a variety of suitable alternatives from a list Effie Trinket sent her. Cooking, flower arranging, playing the flute.
    Suzanne Collins  --  Catching Fire
  • A twenty-year commitment to the Peacekeepers, no marriage, no children allowed. Some buy into it for the honor of the thing, others take it on as an alternative to punishment.
    Suzanne Collins  --  Mockingjay
  • It’s not like we had a lot of alternatives.
    Sara Gruen  --  Water for Elephants
  • During the peak of the Vietnam War, he volunteered for the Army in logistics as an alternative to being drafted and sent to the front lines like many of his friends.
    Wes Moore  --  The Other Wes Moore
  • If the bear did not turn and run, that left only one alternative.
    Ben Mikaeslen  --  Touching Spirit Bear
  • When she was close, we spoke of Tim’s condition, of skin cancer in general, the specifics of possible alternative treatments.
    Nicholas Sparks  --  Dear John
  • When the alternative is death, blood drinking doesn’t seem so bad.
    P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast  --  Marked
  • I’m only helping you because you stole my memories and you’re better than the alternative.
    Rick Riordan  --  The Lost Hero
  • Then, she took me down to the import section and told me about "real" alternative music.
    Stephen Chbosky  --  The Perks of Being a Wallflower
  • Despite the alternative, despite knowing that if they hadn’t tried to escape, all of them might’ve died, it still hurt, even though he hadn’t known them very well.
    James Dashner  --  The Maze Runner
  • They could lower the gear and extend the flaps with hand pumps, but there was no manual alternative to hydraulic brakes.
    Laura Hillenbrand  --  Unbroken
  • She had to get over me because there was no alternative.
    John Corey Whaley  --  Nogin
  • Search for samples from other sources
Interest -- Source
General -- Google News®
General -- Time® Magazine
General -- Twitter®

To see samples using other meanings of alternative, click a word sense below:
as in: an alternative plan Define
something available as another possibility
as in: alternative medicine Define
non-traditional or non-standard
Show Multiple Meanings
Go to Home Page . . . enhancing vocabulary while reading