Alpha Male

What is an alpha male?

A dominant male

Alpha male is a nuanced term that people often use online on social media and forums. For example, someone who views it reverently may say, "I love Mike's alpha male energy. His confidence is refreshing."

On the other hand, people may view alpha male behavior as archaic and, in some contexts, toxic. For example, a person with a critical viewpoint of alpha males may say, " I'm so annoyed by these obnoxious alpha males insulting other guys for being kind."

Origin of alpha male

The slang term "alpha male" originates from a zoological hierarchy theory from L. David Mech's The Wolf: Ecology and Behavior of an Endangered Species. The now-debunked theory describes roles wolves occupy in a pack, which include "alpha" (the wolf leading the group) and "beta" (wolves that submit to the alpha's leadership).

Various psychologists and authors began applying this theory to human social hierarchies, especially in dating contexts. The popularity of the alpha/beta dynamic increased considerably in the 2010s on social media, where users found it helpful to categorize people (primarily men) as alpha or beta personalities.


My alpha cousin keeps posting memes about how modern men spend too much time getting woke and not enough time getting swole
Isn't he like 16?
A Redditor decrying toxic alpha male behavior
A Redditor decrying toxic alpha male behavior

Related Slang


Updated February 6, 2024

Alpha male definition by

This page explains what the slang term "Alpha male" means. The definition, example, and related terms listed above have been written and compiled by the team.

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