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Wordnet 3.0

VERB (5)

1. cause to change; make different; cause a transformation;
- Example: "The advent of the automobile may have altered the growth pattern of the city"
- Example: "The discussion has changed my thinking about the issue"
[syn: change, alter, modify]

2. become different in some particular way, without permanently losing one's or its former characteristics or essence;
- Example: "her mood changes in accordance with the weather"
- Example: "The supermarket's selection of vegetables varies according to the season"
[syn: change, alter, vary]

3. make an alteration to;
- Example: "This dress needs to be altered"

4. insert words into texts, often falsifying it thereby;
[syn: interpolate, alter, falsify]

5. remove the ovaries of;
- Example: "Is your cat spayed?"
[syn: alter, neuter, spay, castrate]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Alter \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. [1913 Webster]
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

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]
WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006):

alter v 1: cause to change; make different; cause a transformation; "The advent of the automobile may have altered the growth pattern of the city"; "The discussion has changed my thinking about the issue" [syn: change, alter, modify] 2: become different in some particular way, without permanently losing one's or its former characteristics or essence; "her mood changes in accordance with the weather"; "The supermarket's selection of vegetables varies according to the season" [syn: change, alter, vary] 3: make an alteration to; "This dress needs to be altered" 4: insert words into texts, often falsifying it thereby [syn: interpolate, alter, falsify] 5: remove the ovaries of; "Is your cat spayed?" [syn: alter, neuter, spay, castrate]
Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0:

121 Moby Thesaurus words for "alter": abate, accommodate, adapt, adjust, adjust to, alter into, ameliorate, assuage, be changed, be converted into, be renewed, become, better, bottom out, box in, break, break up, castrate, change, change into, checker, chop, chop and change, circumscribe, come about, come around, come round, come round to, condition, convert, deform, degenerate, denature, deteriorate, deviate, diminish, diverge, diversify, emasculate, eunuchize, evolve into, fall into, fit, fix, flop, geld, haul around, hedge, hedge about, improve, jibe, lapse into, leaven, limit, meliorate, melt into, mitigate, moderate, modify, modulate, mutate, narrow, open into, overthrow, palliate, pass into, qualify, re-create, realign, rebuild, reconstruct, redesign, reduce, refit, reform, regulate by, remake, remodel, renew, reshape, restrain, restrict, restructure, revamp, revise, revive, ring the changes, ripen into, run into, season, set conditions, set limits, settle into, shift, shift into, shift the scene, shuffle the cards, soften, spay, subvert, swerve, tack, take a turn, temper, transform, turn, turn aside, turn into, turn the corner, turn the scale, turn the tables, turn the tide, turn to, turn upside down, undergo a change, unsex, vary, veer, warp, work a change, worsen
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing (18 March 2015):

ALTER An SQL Data Definition Language command that adds or removes columns or indexes to/from a table or modifies the table definition in some other way. This differs from the INSERT, UPDATE and DELETE (Data Modification Language) commands in that those change the data stored in the table but not its definition. MySQL ALTER TABLE command (http://dev.mysql.com/doc/refman/5.1/en/alter-table.html). (2009-11-10)