alternative

  

Definition

One of the two or more ways of achieving the same desired end or goal. An alternative does not have to be a close substitute for the first choice (or other alternatives), or must solve the problem in a particular way. For example, bundling, extensive promotion, lower price, money-back guaranty, special offer, etc., are all alternative ways for achieving the same end: greater sales revenue. Alternatives are mutually exclusive in the sense that if features of two or more alternatives are combined it would create a new alternative. Also called option.

Use alternative in a sentence

  • The company hired a new consultant who offered a creative alternative solution which would save money, and require less human resources.

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  • When we kept hitting roadblocks trying to get the project underway, we realized we would have to take the alternative route.

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  • As concerns rise over the ethics and politics surrounding the health care system, many patients turn to alternative medicine treatments, such as herbs, meditation, and spiritual healing, to help cure their ailments.

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