One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A key on a keyboard which, when pressed simultaneously with another key, gives the latter an alternative function.
- ‘Ok, press and hold the Control Key… now, the Alt key… now, tap the Delete key.’
- ‘Should the Taskbar not be visible, with the Alt key pressed, repeatedly press the Tab key until Internet Explorer is the active window, you should then be able to close it.’
- ‘Simply press the Alt key on your keyboard and use your mouse to click on any word or name, and Answers.com will provide you with the necessary information.’
- ‘While connected to the Internet, you hold down the Alt key when clicking on a word in any Windows program.’
- ‘To move a theme around on your desktop, hold down the Alt key, left-click with the mouse and drag the theme to wherever you want it located on your desktop.’
1960s: abbreviation of alt(ernative) key.
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