Among recent additions to the popular website Dicionary.com is the term “alt-right,” which catapulted into public consciousness in the last year or so, particularly during the fraught election season.
Scholars, journalists and activists have struggled to pin down exactly what the term means — and it’s origins are even unclear. While white nationalist, or “Identitarian,” Richard Spencer claims to have invented the term, that is also up for debate.
Now Dictionary.com offers their definition: “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.”
Dictionary.com accepts the narrative that Spencer invented the term in 2010.
The dictionary website said that is lexicographers analyze search data to determine interest and demand for terms to add to their database.
“Our users turn to us to define the words they see, hear, and read—and in today’s highly politicized world, we play a necessary role in helping users dissect the meaning of words heard in this period of political discourse,” said Liz McMillan, CEO of Dictionary.com, according to a press release.