Al*ter"na*tive, n. [Cf. F.
alternative, LL. 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
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
Al*ter"na*tive (?), a. [Cf. F.
alternatif.] 1. Offering a choice of two
2. Disjunctive; as, an alternative
3. Alternate; reciprocal. [Obs.]