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[purt] /pɜrt/
adjective, perter, pertest.
boldly forward in speech or behavior; impertinent; saucy.
jaunty and stylish; chic; natty.
lively; sprightly; in good health.
Obsolete. clever.
Origin of pert
1200-50; Middle English, aphetic variant of apert < Old French < Latin apertus open (past participle of aperīre; see aperient); in Middle English and Old French, influenced by Old French aspert < Latin expertus expert
Related forms
pertly, adverb
pertness, noun
1. presumptuous, impudent. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for pertly
Historical Examples
  • Nine o'clock, then; and we'll see if you'll talk as pertly afterwards.

    Scaramouche Rafael Sabatini
  • "She sings much better than you do Grace," said Rose pertly.

    Isabel Leicester Clotilda Jennings
  • “All the more reason to wish for it,” maintained Jill pertly.

    Betty Trevor Mrs. G. de Horne Vaizey
  • She stiffened a little at this, and then said pertly, "Wot's that?"

  • He pertly refused to go until he should be ready, arguing his “equality” with any officer.

    Sea Stories Various
  • "When inflamed with love and wine, you know," said Lucy pertly.

  • He got down jauntily, springily, pertly, and trotted up the steps.

    Sudden Jim Clarence Budington Kelland
  • "Get back and sweep out the passage, you mean," said the girl, pertly.

    Love and the Ironmonger

    F. J. (Frederick John) Randall
  • Lily Bell began to cry, and Susan pertly said, "It's our markers, teacher."

    Sowing and Sewing

    Charlotte Mary Yonge
  • “I understood you were looking for a waitress,” the girl said pertly, with her eyes on Billy.

    Outside Inn Ethel M. Kelley
British Dictionary definitions for pertly


saucy, impudent, or forward
jaunty: a pert little hat
(obsolete) clever or brisk
Derived Forms
pertly, adverb
pertness, noun
Word Origin
C13: variant of earlier apert, from Latin apertus open, from aperīre to open; influenced by Old French aspert, from Latin expertusexpert


noun acronym
programme evaluation and review technique
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 pertly



c.1300 (implied in pertly), "evident, unconcealed," shortened form of Middle English apert "open, frank," from Old French apert, from Latin apertus, past participle of aperire "to open" (see overt). Sense of "saucy, bold" first recorded late 14c. Less pejorative meaning "lively, brisk, in good spirits" (c.1500) survives in U.S. dialectal peart (with Middle English alternative spelling). Related: Pertness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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pertly in Medicine

Pert (pûrt), Candace Beebe. Born 1946.

American biochemist noted for her study of brain chemicals and the locations of their receptors.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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