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used in a sentence
2 meanings
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1  —as in:
an alternative plan
Definition something available as another possibility
  • Let's think of at least three alternatives before we decide what to do.
alternatives = possibilities
Other Uses (with this meaning)
  • Can anyone think of a better alternative?
  • alternative = something available as another possibility
  • Alternatively, we could pack for a picnic and eat in the park.
  • alternatively = as another possibility
  • 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
  • alternative = something available as a possibility
  • 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
  • alternatives = different possibilities
  • 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
  • alternative = other possibility
  • There is no alternative, I assure you.
    Arthur Conan Doyle  --  The Hound of the Baskervilles
  • alternative = other possibility
  • The alternative wasn't good either, of course.
    Sarah Dessen  --  Just Listen
  • alternative = only other possibility
  • It's not like we had a lot of alternatives.
    Sara Gruen  --  Water for Elephants
  • alternatives = other possibilities
  • 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
alternatives = other possibilities

Dictionary list —®
2  —as in:
alternative medicine
Definition non-traditional or non-standard
  • I'm taking the pills the doctor prescribed, but I'm also looking into alternative medicine such as acupuncture.
alternative = non-traditional or non-standard
Other Uses (with this meaning)
  • The Amish lead an alternative lifestyle that limits the use of technology.
  • alternative = non-standard
  • The Fountain School was an "alternative learning space," also known as the Hippie School.
    Sarah Dessen  --  Just Listen
  • alternative = non-traditional or non-standard
  • "That is your earpiece. I will give you exactly one more chance to wear it. If you remove it from your ear again, I'll have you fitted with this." He holds up some sort of metal headgear that I instantly name the head shackle. "It's an alternative audio unit that locks around your skull and under your chin until it's opened with a key."
    Suzanne Collins  --  Mockingjay
  • alternative = non-standard
  • Unlike me, she cared about the myriad pop musical distinctions: punk, indie, alternative, hard-core, emo-core.
    Gayle Forman  --  If I Stay
  • alternative = non-standard
  • He hopes his flight, like that of the character in the title, toward asylum (Canada, or freedom, or the company of the welcoming dead), or home, is interpreted as a radical gesture demanding change, an alternative way, a cessation of things as they are.
    Toni Morrison  --  Song of Solomon
  • alternative = non-standard or non-traditional
  • So when is this loose-rock-original-songs-somewhat-jokey-but-solidly-alternative band playing?
    Sarah Dessen  --  Just Listen
  • They're more kind of a loose rock, original songs, somewhat jokey but solidly alternative.
    Sarah Dessen  --  Just Listen
  • Sophie, for her part, preferred jocks and clean-cut types and hated anyone even slightly alternative.
    Sarah Dessen  --  Just Listen

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