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alter ego

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.
See also: 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.
See also: alter, case, circumstance

change beyond (all) recognition

To change so much or so dramatically as to now be completely unfamiliar or unrecognizable. I wouldn't have recognized her if she hadn't introduced herself—she's really changed beyond all recognition since we were kids!

change out of (all) recognition

To change so much or so dramatically as to now be completely unfamiliar or unrecognizable. I wouldn't have recognized her if she hadn't introduced herself—she's really changed out of recognition since we were kids!
See also: change, of, out, recognition

alter beyond (all) recognition

To change so much or so dramatically as to now be completely unfamiliar or unrecognizable. She had shown me some early drafts, but her final copy was really altered beyond all recognition.

alter out of (all) recognition

To change so much or so dramatically as to now be completely unfamiliar or unrecognizable. She had shown me some early drafts, but her final copy was really altered out of recognition.
See also: alter, of, out, recognition

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.
See also: alter, case, Circumstance

change, alter, etc. beyond/out of (all) recogˈnition

change, etc. such a lot that people do not recognize you, it, etc: I went back to Birmingham after 20 years and it had changed beyond all recognition.She had changed beyond all recognition since I last saw her.
See also: beyond, of, out, recognition
References in periodicals archive ?
But those who practice altering books say their art is an accessible form that involves recycling and doesn't require expensive paints, canvases and art supplies.
Peer says altering books is more challenging than painting.
(1996) after long-term exposure to d-AMPH] may result in a decrease in the amount of DA released after depolarization of the neuron, thereby altering the normal transfer of information between neurons.
Once conversion technology for A and B blood is established, altering the AB cells should be straightforward.
Prolonged exposure (6 days) of PC12 cells to nanomolar concentrations of methylmercury reduces whole cell calcium currents; it is not known whether this decrease in current is caused by direct effects of methylmercury on calcium channels, or to indirect effects, such as altering channel density.
Neurotoxicants may affect calcium channel function either by directly interacting with the channel subunits or by altering intracellular pathways that regulate channel subunits.
Eventually, Ledley hopes to adapt the treatment for children with liver-associated metabolic diseases by genetically altering hepatocytes to produce the protein their defective cells cannot.
Molecular biologists have become reasonably adept at inserting and deleting nuclear genes, and in 1988 scientists succeeded in altering the genetic sequence of chloroplasts in primitive algae bearing only one chloroplast per cell.
The idea of altering natural insect populations to human advantage is not new, but has rarely proved successful.
The procedure, a form of gene therapy known as intracellular immunization, would involve genetically altering most or all of a person's white blood cells, spurring the cells to manufacture a constant supply of mutant viral components.
Scientists do this by taking duplicates of a cell's DNA strands, altering them and then returning the whole strands of altered DNA to the cell nucleus, where they become incorporated with the cell's regular DNA.
But researchers regard it as a forerunner of experiments aimed at curing individuals with inherited defects by altering their genetic makeup.
In almost all of these cases, researchers made plants resistant by altering the production of "target" molecules to which herbicides normally bind in plants.
"McCloskey and Zaragoza have shown that at least some of the effects of misinformation are due to altering a response, not a memory," notes Loftus.