Altar and Alter

What is the difference between altar and alter?

An altar is an area of religious worship.
Alter means to change something.

Altar or Alter?

Occasionally, there is confusion over the words altar and alter.


The word altar is a noun. An altar is an area (usually a table) where religious worship or sacrifice occurs.



To alter is a verb meaning to change something.


Some Images for Altar and Alter

altar in church

eerie sacrificial altar

ladies alter clothes

A Quick Test

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." Ooops.

"Alter of the Hand"

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See Also

Glossary of easily confused words Glossary of common errors Glossary of grammatical terms What are nouns? What are verbs? List of easily confused words