Webster's Dictionary, 1913
Altaian, Altaic adjective [ Confer French altaïque .] Of or pertaining to the Altai, a mountain chain in Central Asia.
[ Middle English alter
, from Latin altare
, plural altaria
, altar, probably from altus
high: confer Old French alter
, French autel
. Confer Altitude
.] 1. A raised structure (as a square or oblong erection of stone or wood) on which sacrifices are offered or incense burned to a deity.
Noah builded an altar unto the Lord. 2. In the Christian church, a construction of stone, wood, or other material for the celebration of the Holy Eucharist; the communion table.
Gen. viii. 20.
is much used adjectively, or as the first part of a compound; as, altar
bread or altar
-bread. Altar cloth
, the cover for an altar in a Christian church, usually richly embroidered.
-- Altar cushion
, a cushion laid upon the altar in a Christian church to support the service book.
-- Altar frontal
. See Frontal .
-- Altar rail
, the railing in front of the altar or communion table.
-- Altar screen
, a wall or partition built behind an altar to protect it from approach in the rear.
-- Altar tomb
, a tomb resembling an altar in shape, etc.
-- Family altar
, place of family devotions.
-- To lead (as a bride) to the altar
, to marry; -- said of a woman.
Altarage noun [ Confer Old French auterage , autelage .]
1. The offerings made upon the altar, or to a church. 2. The profit which accrues to the priest, by reason of the altar, from the small tithes. Shipley.
Altarist noun [ Confer Late Latin altarista , French altariste .] (Old Law) (a) A chaplain. (b) A vicar of a church.
Altarpiece noun The painting or piece of sculpture above and behind the altar; reredos.
Altarwise adverb In the proper position of an altar, that is, at the east of a church with its ends towards the north and south. Shipley.
Altazimuth noun [ All tude + azimuth .] (Astron.) An instrument for taking azimuths and altitudes simultaneously.
Alter transitive verb
[ imperfect & past participle Altered
; present participle & verbal noun Altering
.] [ French altérer
, Late Latin alterare
, from Latin alter
other. Confer Else
.] 1. To make otherwise; to change in some respect, either partially or wholly; to vary; to modify.
the king's course." "To alter
the condition of a man." "No power in Venice can alter
a decree." Shak.
It gilds all objects, but it alters none.
My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips. 2. To agitate; to affect mentally.
Ps. lxxxix. 34.
[ Obsolete] Milton. 3. To geld.
[ Colloq.] Syn.
is generic and the stronger term. It may express a loss of identity, or the substitution of one thing in place of another; alter
commonly expresses a partial change, or a change in form or details without destroying identity.
Alter intransitive verb To become, in some respects, different; to vary; to change; as, the weather alters almost daily; rocks or minerals alter by exposure. "The law of the Medes and Persians, which altereth not." Dan. vi. 8.
Alterability noun [ Confer French altérabilité .] The quality of being alterable; alterableness.
[ Confer French altérable
.] Capable of being altered.
Our condition in this world is mutable and uncertain, alterable by a thousand accidents.
Alterableness noun The quality of being alterable; variableness; alterability.
Alterably adverb In an alterable manner.
Alterant adjective [ Late Latin alterans , present participle: confer French altérant .] Altering; gradually changing. Bacon.
Alterant noun An alterative. [ R.] Chambers.
[ Confer French altération
.] 1. The act of altering or making different.
Alteration , though it be from worse to better, hath in it incoveniences. 2. The state of being altered; a change made in the form or nature of a thing; changed condition.
Ere long might perceive
Strange alteration in me.
Appius Claudius admitted to the senate the sons of those who had been slaves; by which, and succeeding alterations , that council degenerated into a most corrupt.
Alterative adjective [ Latin alterativus : confer French altératif .] Causing ateration. Specifically: Gradually changing, or tending to change, a morbid state of the functions into one of health. Burton.
Alterative noun A medicine or treatment which gradually induces a change, and restores healthy functions without sensible evacuations.
Altercate intransitive verb
[ imperfect & past participle Altercated
; present participle & verbal noun Altercating
.] [ Latin altercatus
, past participle of altercare
, from alter
another. See Alter
.] To contend in words; to dispute with zeal, heat, or anger; to wrangle.
[ French altercation
, from Latin altercatio
.] Warm contention in words; dispute carried on with heat or anger; controversy; wrangle; wordy contest.
." Macaulay. Syn.
. The term dispute
is in most cases, but not necessarily, applied to a verbal contest; as, a dispute
on the lawfulness of war. An altercation
is an angry dispute between two parties, involving an interchange of severe language. A wrangle
is a confused and noisy altercation.
Their whole life was little else than a perpetual wrangling and altercation .
Altercative adjective Characterized by wrangling; scolding. [ R.] Fielding.
[ French altérité
.] The state or quality of being other; a being otherwise.
For outness is but the feeling of otherness ( alterity ) rendered intuitive, or alterity visually represented.
Altern adjective [ Latin alternus , from alter another: confer French alterne .] Acting by turns; alternate. Milton. Altern base (Trig.) , a second side made base, in distinction from a side previously regarded as base.
Alternacy noun Alternateness; alternation. [ R.] Mitford.
[ Latin alternans
, present participle: confer French alternant
. See Alternate
, transitive verb
] (Geol.) Composed of alternate layers, as some rocks.
Alternat noun [ French] A usage, among diplomats, of rotation in precedence among representatives of equal rank, sometimes determined by lot and at other times in regular order. The practice obtains in the signing of treaties and conventions between nations.
[ Latin alternatus
, past participle of alternate
, from alternus
. See Altern
.] 1. Being or succeeding by turns; one following the other in succession of time or place; by turns first one and then the other; hence, reciprocal.
And bid alternate passions fall and rise. 2. Designating the members in a series, which regularly intervene between the members of another series, as the odd or even numbers of the numerals; every other; every second; as, the alternate members 1, 3, 5, 7, etc. ; read every alternate line. 3. (Botany) Distributed, as leaves, singly at different heights of the stem, and at equal intervals as respects angular divergence. Gray. Alternate alligation
. See Alligation .
-- Alternate angles (Geom.)
, the internal and angles made by two lines with a third, on opposite sides of it. It the parallels AB, CD, are cut by the line EF, the angles AGH, GHD, as also the angles BGH and GHC, are called alternate angles .
-- Alternate generation
. (Biol.) See under Generation .
Alternate noun 1. That which alternates with something else; vicissitude.
Grateful alternates of substantial. 2. A substitute; one designated to take the place of another, if necessary, in performing some duty. 3. (Math.) A proportion derived from another proportion by interchanging the means.
Alternate transitive verb
[ imperfect & past participle Alternated
; present participle & verbal noun Alternating
.] [ Latin alternatus
, past participle of alternare
. See Altern
.] To perform by turns, or in succession; to cause to succeed by turns; to interchange regularly.
The most high God, in all things appertaining unto this life, for sundry wise ends alternates the disposition of good and evil.
Alternate intransitive verb 1. To happen, succeed, or act by turns; to follow reciprocally in place or time; -- followed by with ; as, the flood and ebb tides alternate with each other.
Rage, shame, and grief alternate in his breast.
Different species alternating with each other. 2. To vary by turns; as, the land alternates between rocky hills and sandy plains.
1. In reciprocal succession; succeeding by turns; in alternate order. 2. (Math.) By alternation; when, in a proportion, the antecedent term is compared with antecedent, and consequent.
Alternateness noun The quality of being alternate, or of following by turns.
Alternating current (Electricity) A current which periodically changes or reverses its direction of flow.
[ Latin alternatio
: confer French alternation
.] 1. The reciprocal succession of things in time or place; the act of following and being followed by turns; alternate succession, performance, or occurrence; as, the alternation of day and night, cold and heat, summer and winter, hope and fear. 2. (Math.) Permutation. 3. The response of the congregation speaking alternately with the minister. Mason. Alternation of generation
. See under Generation .
Alternative adjective [ Confer French alternatif .]
1. Offering a choice of two things. 2. Disjunctive; as, an alternative conjunction. 3. Alternate; reciprocal. [ Obsolete] Holland.
[ Confer French alternative
, Late Latin alternativa
.] 1. An offer of two things, one of which may be chosen, but not both; a choice between two things, so that if one is taken, the other must be left.
There is something else than the mere alternative of absolute destruction or unreformed existence. 2. Either of two things or propositions offered to one's choice. Thus when two things offer a choice of one only, the two things are called alternatives .
Having to choose between two alternatives , safety and war, you obstinately prefer the worse. 3. The course of action or the thing offered in place of another.
If this demand is refused the alternative is war.
With no alternative but death. 4. A choice between more than two things; one of several things offered to choose among.
My decided preference is for the fourth and last of these alternatives .
Alternatively adverb In the manner of alternatives, or that admits the choice of one out of two things.
Alternativeness noun The quality of being alternative, or of offering a choice between two.
Alternator noun (Electricity) An electric generator or dynamo for producing alternating currents.
Alternity noun [ Late Latin alternitas .] Succession by turns; alternation. [ R.] Sir T. Browne.
Altheine noun (Chemistry) Asparagine.
[ Icelandic (modern) alping
, earlier alpingi
all + ping
assembly. See All
, and Thing
.] The national assembly or parliament of Iceland. See Thing , noun , 8.
Altho conj. Although. [ Reformed spelling]
Althorn noun [ Alt + horn .] (Mus.) An instrument of the saxhorn family, used exclusively in military music, often replacing the French horn. Grove.
; Middle English al thagh
.] Grant all this; be it that; supposing that; notwithstanding; though.
Although all shall be offended, yet will not I. Syn.
Mark xiv. 29.
, which originally was perhaps more emphatic than though
, is now interchangeable with it in the sense given above. Euphonic consideration determines the choice.
Althæa Al*the"a noun [ althaea, Greek ....] (Botany) (a) A genus of plants of the Mallow family. It includes the officinal marsh mallow, and the garden hollyhocks. (b) An ornamental shrub ( Hibiscus Syriacus ) of the Mallow family.
Altiloquence noun Lofty speech; pompous language. [ R.] Bailey.
Altiloquent adjective [ Latin altus (adv. alte ) high + loquens , present participle of loqui to speak.] High-sounding; pompous in speech. [ R.] Bailey.
Altimeter noun [ Late Latin altimeter ; altus high + metrum , Greek ..., measure: confer French altimètre .] An instrument for taking altitudes, as a quadrant, sextant, etc. Knight.
Altimetry noun [ Confer French altimétrie .] The art of measuring altitudes, or heights.