Both a genre of music and...something else.

The music: Alternative and indie are similar, and both came from college rock, which is what happened when goth became more mainstream (and goth was what happened when punk became more mainstream). The difference between alternative and indie is simple. Indie bands are on an independent label (or unsigned) and alternative bands aren't. Thus, alternative is more 'mainstream' than indie.

The...other thing: Like most music, people who listen to it are sometimes labeled by it. Alternative and indie are once again similar, but often times indie kids are contemptuous of alternative kids because they're mainstream, which is stupid because the whole point is the music, and is also the reason that punk and goth etc. died because they became 'mainstream'. Thus, sometimes indie kids are obsessed with not becoming mainstream, and consider bands that sign with a major label and the people who listen to the sellouts. Alternative kids usually care less about that (even if they listen to indie bands) and listen to the music that they like, even if it isn't indie or even alternative or rock, the music they like is the music they like. Like indie kids though, alternative kids will never label themselves that way, and no one will ever label them that way either, except to say 'people who listen to alt'. If you label yourself that way, you're probably just like someone who labels themselves punk or goth, trying to be 'unique' instead of yourself.
Indie kid: Death Cab for Cutie is a sellout! I'm never going to listen to them again, they were on a major label and got mentioned on a TV show. Now tons of people are going to listen to them and that makes them stupid.
Alternative kid: Sure, that sucks and all, but I still like their music, so I don't care that much.
by boredtodeath October 30, 2005
A choice between two or more things.
An Alternative:
If the pussy is wack go for the crack. See anal.

by Big Pimpin T July 31, 2008
An alternate learning program for students at Dedham High school. All Alternative classes are stuck in the E wing, which has no windows, except for mr. Hughes's room. Kids are in Alternative for many different reasons. Either you have missed alot of school and are far behind, your are just horrible at school, you have trouble learning in regular schooling enviorment, so basically if your arnt "perfect" at school. Alternative is nicknamed ALT, and use to be a pretty chill place. Now it sucks because there is a new director that no one seems to care for. Alot of mainstream students want to be in ALT because they think its the easy way out of school, when really its hell on earth
"What do you expect? I'm in Alternative"
by alternative kid March 04, 2009
A term used to descibe music that is an alternative from the mainstream music. Although this term is irrelevent now, because what is refered to as alternative is in fact, the mainstream music.
Boy1:what kind of music do you like"
Boy2:because i dont like to listen to the same thing everyone else does.
Boy1:umm alternative is what everyone listens to....
by Blake Springer August 26, 2005
The one who waits in line to become mainstream.
Tim Burton used to be alternative. Now he makes videoclips for The Killers.
by steliott February 01, 2007
A label that includes Goth, Greebo, Skaters, Fetishtic wearers, Emos, Scenesters and the like
I feel really alternative today.
by Master Patrick Claire Thompson August 04, 2006
supposedly different to the 'norm'. A term also used to describe categories which society has placed us. Usually goths, moshers who reckon everyones out to get them call themselves alternatives, because theyre the same as everyone else.
'nuff said
by Laura M January 02, 2004
To be honest, I was talking about 'Alternatives' to my mum the other day, she said "Cross Dressers?".

Although, me thinks 'Alternative' is just now what the Moshers in our wonderful norhtern land call themselves coz they got bored.. Maybe I should start calling myself a Hayishf.. hey, it might catch on..
Person: I'm becoming a mosher on saturday!

Other Person: Really?

Person: Yeah, mum's taking me to town to get my stuff!
by Hollie January 21, 2004

Free Daily Email

Type your email address below to get our free Urban Word of the Day every morning!

Emails are sent from We'll never spam you.