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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 unfamiliar or unrecognizable. I wouldn't have recognized that girl 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 unfamiliar or unrecognizable. I wouldn't have recognized that girl 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 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 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.
Neurotoxicants may affect calcium channel function either by directly interacting with the channel subunits or by altering intracellular pathways that regulate channel subunits.
They could request a donation from the adopters for this altering cost.
By altering the blueprints for genes involved in photosynthesis, "we may make crop plants more efficient under environment conditions like drought or low temperatures, which adversely affect photosynthetic reactions," he says.
has charged that ConAgra personnel have engaged in a pattern and practice of altering USDA certificates without authorization since 1991.
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.
Research may also show that, rather than permanently altering a patient's bone marrow cells, gene therapists could periodically provide transfusions of engineered blood cells -- a simpler procedure researchers have begun to investigate using a bacterial gene at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md.
Accelerated evolution, which was developed at the University of Delaware in Newark, opens new vistas for altering protein structure and function.
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.
At Johns Hopkins, Miller and his colleagues have developed enzyme-proof oligos by altering the backbone of the DNA, replacing an oxygen atom with a methyl group.
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.
But rather than altering the plants' target molecules, the scientists inserted into the tobacco plants a "detoxifying" gene -- taken from a soil bacterium - that codes for an enzyme, nitrilase, that breaks down bromoxynil.
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.