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Altar or Alter?
What Is the Difference between "Altar" and "Alter"?
The Quick Answer
Altar(noun) (1) "an area of religious worship"
- The vicar stood by the altar.
Alter(verb) (1) "to amend"
- Can you alter this shirt please?
- The worshippers placed tins of food and fruit around the church altar.
- Turn this wheel to alter the ship's course.
AltarThe word "altar" is a noun. "An altar" is an area (usually a table) where religious worship or sacrifice occurs. Here are some example sentences with "altar":
- The ancient Britons used to sacrifice animals on elaborate stone altars.
- We were married at the altar in Saint Paul's Cathedral.
- Have you seen the water damage to the alter in Saint John's Church? (This should be "altar.")
Alter"To alter" is a verb meaning to change something. Here are some example sentences with "alter":
- Will you alter this dress for Saturday's play?
- Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months. (Playwright Oscar Wilde)
- Please altar your claim in Section 9. (This should be "alter," i.e., to amend or change.)
Some Images for Altar and Alter
altar in church
eerie sacrificial altar
ladies alter clothes
Common Terms with "Altar" and "Alter"Common terms with the word "altar":
- altar boys
- come to the altar
- family altar
- lead to the altar
- wedding altar
- witch's altar
- alter course
- alter ego
- alter the dress
- alter the situation
Most Mistakes Occur with "Altar" not "Alter"
People rarely use "altar" when they mean "alter." It is more common for people to use "alter" when they mean "altar." In its catalogue, one reputable website calls this piece "Alter of the Hand." Oops.
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