- different from existing social arrangement, practicality, or conventionThe use implies that the methods or tastes proposed or chosen are preferable to or more efficacious than those generally adopted, whether it be alternative medicine, gardening, nutrition, religion, education, defence (pacifism), lifestyle, sexuality (homosexuality), or whatever:Eva Wilt's... Alternative Medicine alternated with Alternative Gardening and Alternative Nutrition and even various Alternative Religions. (Sharpe, 1979)I'm into Marxist aesthetics. I'm interested in alternative education. (Bradbury, 1976)... an 'alternative defence workshop' led by Mrs Joan Ruddock, CND Chairman. (Daily Telegraph, November 1983)Should we admire marriage or 'alternative lifestyles'? (Daily Telegraph, 14 December 1998, quoting Tony Blair)Homosexuality, with the inevitable personal disorientation it generates, was shrugged off as 'alternative sexuality'. (Daily Telegraph, November 1979)His relations with the women he photographed appear to have remained professional and friendly and — even though he never married — scandal never fastened on an alternative proclivity. (Daily Telegraph, obituary of August 1990)
How not to say what you mean: A dictionary of euphemisms. R. W. Holder. 2014.