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alter   WordNet 2.0

- remove the ovaries of
"Is your cat spayed?"

 
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- make or 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"

 
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- 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"

 
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- insert words into texts, often falsifying it thereby

 
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- make an alteration to
"This dress needs to be altered"

 
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Alter   Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)

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. 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.] 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.

 
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1. 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.

 
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