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1. Another name or identity that one assumes. He's a clean-cut accountant during the week, but on the weekend he indulges in hedonistic pursuits as his alter ego "Jack."
2. A separate or different aspect or element of one's personality, identity, or psyche. For such a quiet woman, she has a rage and temper at times that is like some alter ego.
3. A close, inseparable friend of very similar attitudes and interests. My girlfriend and I are so similar, we are like each other's alter ego.
4. A person who acts as a substitute for or copy of another person; a doppelgänger. Due to his increasingly failing health, the dictator's son has been running the country for the past month, essentially as his alter ego.
circumstances alter cases
Unique circumstances can spur unconventional action. I know offering such a big refund isn't protocol, but it's for the CEO's grandmother, and circumstances alter cases.
Circumstances alter cases.
Prov. In unusual situations, people are allowed to do unusual things. Cashier: I'm sorry, this store does not accept personal checks. Customer: But I need this medicine, and I don't have any cash. I've shopped at this store for fifteen years. Surely you can trust me this once. Cashier: Well, all right. Circumstances alter cases.