(Al"tar*wise`) adv. In the proper position of an altar, that is, at the east of a church with its
ends towards the north and south. Shipley.
(Alt*az"i*muth) n. [Alltude + azimuth.] (Astron.) An instrument for taking azimuths and
(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.] Milton.
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 destroying identity.
(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.
(Al`ter*a*bil"i*ty) n. [Cf. F. altérabilité.] The quality of being alterable; alterableness.
(Al"ter*a*ble) a. [Cf. F. altérable.] Capable of being altered.
Our condition in this world is mutable and uncertain, alterable by a thousand accidents.
(Al"ter*a*ble*ness), n. The quality of being alterable; variableness; alterability.
(Al"ter*a*bly), adv. In an alterable manner.
(Al"ter*ant) a. [LL. alterans, p. pr.: cf. F. altérant.] Altering; gradually changing. Bacon.
(Al"ter*ant), n. An alterative. [R.] Chambers.
(Al`ter*a"tion) n. [Cf. F. 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.
(Al"ter*a*tive) a. [L. alterativus: cf. F. altératif.] Causing ateration. Specifically: Gradually
changing, or tending to change, a morbid state of the functions into one of health. Burton.