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[oh-vurt, oh-vurt] /oʊˈvɜrt, ˈoʊ vɜrt/
open to view or knowledge; not concealed or secret:
overt hostility.
Heraldry. (of a device, as a purse) represented as open:
a purse overt.
Origin of overt
1275-1325; Middle English < Old French, past participle of ouvrir to open < Vulgar Latin *ōperīre, for Latin aperīre
Related forms
unovert, adjective
Can be confused
covert, overt.
1. plain, manifest, apparent, public.
1. private, concealed. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for overt
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • At the first overt act of resistance, let them give the word to fire.

    The Eternal City Hall Caine
  • Also that hankering after an overt or practical effect seems to me an apostasy.

    Essays, Second Series Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • She seemed in nowise embarrassed by these overt endearments.

    The Market-Place Harold Frederic
  • On the other hand, the best results may take years for overt appearance.

    College Teaching Paul Klapper
  • I suppose I may say they idolised him, but I never caught them giving him an overt glance.

    Lord Jim Joseph Conrad
British Dictionary definitions for overt


/ˈəʊvɜːt; əʊˈvɜːt/
open to view; observable
(law) open; deliberate. Criminal intent may be inferred from an overt act
Derived Forms
overtly, adverb
overtness, noun
Word Origin
C14: via Old French, from ovrir to open, from Latin aperīre
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for overt

early 14c., "open to view," from Old French overt (Modern French ouvert), past participle of ovrir "to open," from Latin aperire "to open, uncover," from PIE *ap-wer-yo- from *ap- "off, away" + base *wer- "to cover" (see weir). Cf. Latin operire "to cover," from the same root with PIE prefix *op- "over;" and Lithuanian atveriu "open," uzveriu "shut."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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