Etymology
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alternating (adj.)

1550s, "occurring or acting by turns, one after the other," present-participle adjective from alternate (v.). Electrical alternating current is recorded from 1839, an electrical current which flows alternately in opposite directions without interruption.

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Definitions of alternating

alternating (adj.)
occurring by turns; first one and then the other;
alternating feelings of love and hate
Synonyms: alternate
alternating (adj.)
(of a current) reversing direction;
alternating current
From wordnet.princeton.edu