Alt-text meaning

(ALTernate text) On a Web page, a text description that can be added to the HTML tag that displays an image. The ALT text is displayed by the browser when the cursor is moved over the picture. If pictures are turned off in the browser, the ALT text is automatically displayed instead.
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(Internet) A text caption, associated with an image or other element, that is rendered if the usual content cannot be rendered.

Screenreaders for the blind read out the alt text when they encounter an image on a Web page.

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Origin of alt-text