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alternate key[′ȯl·tər·nət ‚kē]
A key on a computer keyboard that does not itself generate a character but changes the nature of the character generated by another key when depressed simultaneously with it; similar to the control and shift keys. Abbreviated ALT key.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.