alternative fact

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Alternative forms[edit]


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alternative fact (plural alternative facts)

  1. Used other than with a figurative or idiomatic meaning: 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.
    Synonym: counterknowledge

Usage notes[edit]

This term gained prominence after it was used by Kellyanne Conway in January 2017 and widely repeated in the US media.[2][3][4]

Related terms[edit]


Further reading[edit]

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