Etymology
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alternate (v.)
1590s, "do by turns" (transitive), from Latin alternatus, past participle of alternare "do one thing and then another, do by turns," from alternus "one after the other, alternate, in turns, reciprocal," from alter "the other" (see alter). Replaced Middle English alternen "to vary, alternate" (early 15c.). Transitive meaning "interchange reciprocally" is from 1850; intransitive sense "follow one another in time or place" is from c. 1700; that of "pass back and forth between actions, conditions, etc." is by 1823. Related: Alternated; alternating.
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alternate (adj.)
"following each other by turns, reciprocal," 1510s, from Latin alternatus "one after the other," past participle of alternare "to do first one thing then the other; exchange parts," from alternus "one after the other, alternate, in turns, reciprocal," from alter "the other" (see alter).

Alternate means "by turns;" alternative means "offering a choice." Both imply two kinds or things. Alternation is the process of two things following one another regularly by turns (as night and day); an alternative is a choice of two things, the acceptance of one implying the rejection of the other. Related: Alternacy.
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altruism (n.)

1853, "unselfishness, devotion to the welfare of others, opposite of egoism," from French altruisme, coined or popularized 1830 by French philosopher Auguste Comte, with -ism + autrui (Old French altrui) "of or to others," from Latin alteri, dative of alter "other" (see alter). The -l- is perhaps an etymological reinsertion from the Latin word.

There is a fable that when the badger had been stung all over by bees, a bear consoled him by a rhapsodic account of how he himself had just breakfasted on their honey. The badger replied peevishly, "The stings are in my flesh, and the sweetness is on your muzzle." The bear, it is said, was surprised at the badger's want of altruism. ["George Eliot," "Theophrastus Such," 1879]
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adultery (n.)
"voluntary violation of the marriage bed," c. 1300, avoutrie, from Old French avouterie (12c., later adulterie, Modern French adultĕre), noun of condition from avoutre, from Latin adulterare "commit adultery; corrupt," from ad "to" (see ad-) + alterare "to alter" (see alter). Compare adulteration. The spelling was corrected toward Latin from early 15c. in English, following French (see ad-).

In Middle English, also "sex between husband and wife for recreational purposes; idolatry, perversion, heresy." As a crime, formerly classified as single adultery (with an unmarried person) and double adultery (with a married person). The Old English word was æwbryce "breach of law(ful marriage)" (similar formation in German Ehebruch). In translations of the 7th Commandment it is understood to mean "lewdness or unchastity" of any kind, in act or thought.
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*al- (1)

Proto-Indo-European root meaning "beyond."

It forms all or part of: adulteration; adultery; alias; alibi; alien; alienate; alienation; allegory; allele;  allergy; allo-; allopathy; allotropy; Alsace; alter; altercation; alternate; alternative; altruism; eldritch; else; hidalgo; inter alia; other; outrage; outrageous; outre; parallax; parallel; subaltern; synallagmatic; ulterior; ultimate; ultra-.

It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit anya "other, different," arana- "foreign;" Avestan anya-, Armenian ail "another;" Greek allos "other, different, strange;" Latin alius "another, other, different," alter "the other (of two)," ultra "beyond, on the other side;" Gothic aljis "other," Old English elles "otherwise, else," German ander "other."

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alteration (n.)

late 14c., alteracioun, "change, transformation, action of altering," from Old French alteracion "change, alteration" (14c.), and directly from Medieval Latin alterationem (nominative alteratio), noun of action from past-participle stem of Late Latin alterare "to change," from Latin alter "the other (of the two)," from PIE root *al- (1) "beyond" + comparative suffix -ter (as in other). Meaning "change in character or appearance" is from 1530s; that of "change in ready-made clothes to suit a customer's specifications" is from 1901. Related: Alterations.

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interpolate (v.)
1610s, "to alter or enlarge (a writing) by inserting new material," from Latin interpolatus, past participle of interpolare "alter, freshen up, polish;" of writing, "falsify," from inter "among, between" (see inter-) + polare, which is related to polire "to smoothe, polish," from PIE root *pel- (5) "to thrust, strike, drive," the connecting notion being "to full cloth" [Watkins].

Sense evolved in Latin from "refurbish," to "alter appearance of," to "falsify (especially by adding new material)." Middle English had interpolen (early 15c.) in a similar sense. Related: Interpolated; interpolating.
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deskill (v.)

also de-skill, "alter a workplace so as no longer to require skilled workers" (usually through technology), 1941, from de- + skill. Related: Deskilled.

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interpolator (n.)
1650s, from Late Latin interpolator "one who corrupts or spoils," agent noun from past participle stem of Latin interpolare "to polish; to alter; to falsify" (see interpolate).
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accidental (n.)
late 14c., "non-essential quality," from accidental (adj.). The musical sense is from 1868; so called because they alter the note without essentially changing the key of the passage.
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