What does alternative mean?

Alternative means 'another way'. Alternative medicine is another way of practicing besides western (allopathic) medicine, in which medications are prescribed and surgeries are performed. Alternative medicine includes herbology, massage, Bach flower remedies, homeopathic medicine and naturopathy, among others.

Alternative means something with other options available to it. ex: Any alternative ideas guys for our business.

An alternative is a choice between two possibilities, the other possibility from one already posited, or a situation which allows a mutually exclusive choice between two or more possibilities.

As an adjective, "alternative" can mean "outside of the mainstream", such as alternative medicine, alternative music.