v. al·tered, al·ter·ing, al·ters
1. To change or make different; modify: altered my will.
2. To adjust (a garment) for a better fit.
3. To castrate or spay (an animal, such as a cat or a dog).
To change or become different.
[Middle English alteren, from Old French alterer, from Medieval Latin alterāre, from Latin alter, other; see al-1 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
al′ter·a·bili·ty, alter·a·ble·ness n.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.