Alter Al"ter, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Altered}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Altering}.] [F. alt['e]rer, 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. [1913 Webster]

It gilds all objects, but it alters none. --Pope. [1913 Webster]

My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips. --Ps. lxxxix. 34. [1913 Webster]

2. To agitate; to affect mentally. [Obs.] --Milton. [1913 Webster]

3. To geld. [Colloq.] [1913 Webster]

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. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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