alternative fact

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This term gained prominence after it was used by Kellyanne Conway in January 2017 and widely repeated in the US media.[1][2][3]

Alternative forms[edit]


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alternative fact (plural alternative facts)

  1. Used other than figuratively or idiomatically: see alternative,‎ fact.
  2. (politics, media) Something presented as a fact for reasons of political expediency; a fiction, a falsehood, a lie. [since the late 2010s]
    • 2017 February 25, R. E. Guyson Mayers, “A GUY"S VIEW: Season of discontent”, in Barbados Advocate:
      They are creating their own facts, but one need not be in Government to create alternative facts.
    • 2017 March 3, “Private Sydney: Celebrities quick to present their own 'alternative facts'”, in The Sydney Morning Herald:
      According to Donald Trump we live in an era of "fake news" where his "alternative facts" should be swallowed whole, and without scrutiny.
    • 2017 March 3, Chantal Hébert, “It's not just Donald Trump who shifts the truth, Canada's politicians have been using alternative facts for years”, in Toronto Star:
      Prime ministers have not been immune to spreading alternative facts.
    • 2017 May 30, Moe! Ninja Girls, Japan: NTT Solmare, iOS, Android, scene: Season 6, Chapter 6:
      ― Secretary: Now, I did not mislead you. That was merely an alternative fact.
    • 2018 March 26, “Association of Herpes Viral Infections, Antiherpetic Therapy, and Dementia: Real or Alternative Fact?”, in Neurotherapeutics, volume 15, DOI:10.1007/s13311-018-0625-4, pages 415-416:
      Association of Herpes Viral Infections, Antiherpetic Therapy, and Dementia: Real or Alternative Fact?
    Synonyms: counterknowledge; see also Thesaurus:falsehood

Related terms[edit]


Further reading[edit]