Al·ter v. t. [imp. & p. p. Altered p. pr. & vb. n. Altering.]
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.”
It gilds all objects, but it alters none. --Pope.
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.
Usage: 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.
adj 1: changed in form or character without becoming something
else; "the altered policy promised success";
"following an altered course we soon found ourselves
back in civilization"; "he looked...with couded eyes
and with an altered manner of breathing"- Charles
Dickens [ant: unaltered]
2: having testicles or ovaries removed [syn: neutered]
3: changed in order to improve or made more fit for a
particular purpose; "seeds precisely adapted to the area";
"instructions altered to suit the children's different
ages" [syn: adapted]