alt text


: a short piece of usually hidden text that is associated with a digital image on the Internet (as to provide a description of the image for people with visual disabilities)
Some accessibility advocates have also called for Twitter to give users the ability to add text descriptions of images—known as "alt text"—to tweets after they've been posted. That would allow blind people and others to understand tweets with visual elements by using technology that reads such descriptions aloud.Rachel Lerman and Will Oremus
For the Webb telescope images, a large team of science writers, outreach scientists, and education specialists at the Space Telescope Science Institute helped write and edit alt text and the longer image descriptions.Sarah Scire

Examples of alt text in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web There are a few common accessibility factors marketers may overlook, like missing alt text on images, poor color contrast, and non-descriptive hyperlink text. Daria Gonzalez, Forbes, 30 Nov. 2023 There’s a special place in Hell (etc., etc.) for those who don’t use alt text, so here are the song titles not on 1989 (Scooter’s Version): 17. Vulture, 21 Sep. 2023 Inspecting the alt text of that image reveals that the official names of those colors are Rose and Porcelain. Boone Ashworth, WIRED, 9 Sep. 2023 Adding alt text to an image in a Google Workspace project is getting much easier after an update included the accessibility improvement. Wes Davis, The Verge, 22 July 2023 Metadata and alt text, too, should be regularly updated and optimized. Nick Brown, Forbes, 17 July 2023 The Threads app itself is fairly bare bones, lacking features such as direct messages, a chronological feed, post drafting capabilities, the ability to add alt text to images, and more. Bykylie Robison, Fortune, 7 July 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'alt text.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1996, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of alt text was in 1996

Dictionary Entries Near alt text

Cite this Entry

“Alt text.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Jun. 2024.

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