from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. Present participle of alternate.
  • adj. that alternates
  • adj. Having a planar diagram whose crossings alternate between "over" and "under" as one travels along the knot.
  • adj. Having terms that alternate between positive and negative.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Specifically, in electricity, periodicaliy reversing or changing the direction in such a manner that the total effect in one direction is the same as in the opposite direction.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. (of a current) reversing direction
  • adj. occurring by turns; first one and then the other


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • Now featured below, their poem "Apple Jack Tangles the Maidy Lac with a Red, Red Ribbon" was written in alternating voices.


  • Ultimately the story is told in alternating first - and third-person chapters, giving us a side-angle on Harry's mordant understanding of events.

    Death in L.A.; Southern Suspicion; Spenser Gets Artistic

  • There are several quasi-narratives unfolding in alternating vignettes in SOS.

    The Bigger (the Art), the Better

  • One fellow or two fellows are appointed in alternating years and a total of three accredited fellows are present at any one time.

    Fellowship Program Description

  • Keeping the talent flowing, leading the spies in alternating strokes, first by Chris Cooper (American Beauty, The Kingdom) and then by Joan Allen (The Contender, Death Race).


  • When I first moved into the room, they decorated it with aforesaid carpet; off-white paneling on one long wall; 'stripes' of small flowers climbing up vines, in alternating stripes of pink and pale orange on the other long wall; a pattern of scattered large (like, 8 ) flowers in varying shades of pinks and orange on the two short walls.

    mrissa: "What makes a man turn neutral?"

  • The story is told in alternating chapters by Ruth and Dana, and another way you can tell they're half sisters is that they speak in exactly the same voice.

    Joyce Maynard's "The Good Daughters," reviewed by Carolyn See

  • The husband and wife tell their own stories in alternating first-person narratives, but while Mrs. DeShell's story is presented in reverse order, beginning with her affliction by dementia in old age and proceeding backwards into her childhood, Mr. DeShell's story proceeds in the opposite direction, from childhood to lonely old age.

    Experimental Fiction

  • I wrote Rescuing Patty Hearst in alternating voices mainly because those are the voices I had in me: the captive child trying to escape and understand, and also, unfortunately, later, as an adult still captive to my past, trying to somehow understand what had happened to my family and why.

    An Interview with Virginia Holman

  • It would be better to tell both stories in alternating chapters.

    A Conversation with Philip Caputo about Crossers


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