Al"ter (?), v. t. [imp. & p.
p. Altered (?); p. pr. & vb. n.
Altering.] [F. altérer, LL. alterare, fr. L.
alter other, alius other. Cf. Else, Other.]
1. To make otherwise; to change in some respect,
either partially or wholly; to vary; to modify. "To alter 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.
Ps. lxxxix. 34.
2. To agitate; to affect mentally. [Obs.]
3. To geld. [Colloq.]
Syn. -- Change, Alter. Change 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
Al"ter, v. i. 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.