Definition of Alt key in US English:

Alt key


  • A key on a keyboard that when pressed at the same time as another key gives the second key an alternative function.

    • ‘Simply press the Alt key on your keyboard and use your mouse to click on any word or name, and will provide you with the necessary information.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.


Alt key

/ˈôlt ˌkē//ˈɔlt ˌki/