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alt-right

or alt right

[ awlt-rahyt ]
/ ˈɔltˈraɪt /
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noun

a political movement originating on social media and online forums, composed of a segment of conservatives who support extreme right-wing ideologies, including white nationalism and anti-Semitism (often used attributively): the face of the alt-right;an alt-right candidate.

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See also alt-2.

Origin of alt-right

First recorded in 2005–10; associated shortly after with Richard Spencer, U.S. white nationalist (born 1978); shortening of alt(ernative) + right (in the sense “political conservatives”)

historical usage of alt-right

Though the term alt-right was used in certain circles as early as 2005–2010, it first received mainstream attention in the lead-up to the 2016 U.S. presidential election. There has been so much confusion and debate around the term that many news organizations have felt compelled to explain in their official style guides how they will use or not use it. Media outlets including the Associated Press , the New York Times , the Guardian , and National Public Radio have all come to the conclusion that the term alt-right should not be used without further qualifying information, from prefacing the term with “so-called” to clearly stating that the alt-right is a hate group. Several of these guides suggest the use of less euphemistic, more explicit language such as white supremacist , white nationalist , or neo-Nazi in place of the term alt-right .
The term alt-right has been seen as an effort to rebrand various hate groups in order to appeal to an internet-savvy generation. The first element, alt-, is a shortening of alternative . It has positive connotations for many younger people, often being paired with music genres to suggest a more hip offshoot of the original: alt-rock , alt-country , alt-folk . Critics of the term alt-right believe that it sanitizes, masks, and normalizes the true nature of the ideologies upon which this movement was formed.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

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