Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

alert

[uh-lurt]
See more synonyms for alert on Thesaurus.com
adjective
  1. fully aware and attentive; wide-awake; keen: an alert mind.
  2. swift; agile; nimble.
Show More
noun
  1. an attitude of vigilance, readiness, or caution, as before an expected attack.
  2. a warning or alarm of an impending military attack, a storm, etc.: We'd just boarded the bus when the alert sounded.
  3. the period during which such a warning or alarm is in effect.
Show More
verb (used with object)
  1. to warn (troops, ships, etc.) to prepare for action.
  2. to warn of an impending raid, attack, storm, etc.: The radio alerted coastal residents to prepare for the hurricane.
  3. to advise or warn; cause to be on guard: to alert gardeners to the dangers of some pesticides.
Show More
Idioms
  1. on the alert, on guard against danger; in readiness; vigilant: The state police are on the alert for an escaped convict believed to be in the area.
Show More

Origin of alert

1590–1600; 1940–45 for def 4; < Italian all'erta, equivalent to all(a) to, on the + erta lookout, watchtower, orig. feminine of erto, past participle of ergere < Latin ērigere to erect
Related formsa·lert·ly, adverba·lert·ness, nounhy·per·a·lert, adjectiveun·a·lert·ed, adjective

Synonyms for alert

See more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com

Synonym study

1. Alert, vigilant, watchful imply a wide-awake attitude, as of someone keenly aware of his or her surroundings. Alert describes a ready and prompt attentiveness together with a quick intelligence: The tourist was alert and eager to see the sights. Vigilant suggests some immediate necessity for keen, active observation, and for continuing alertness: Knowing the danger, the scout was unceasingly vigilant. Watchful suggests carefulness and preparedness: watchful waiting.

Antonyms for alert

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018


Examples from the Web for alertly

Historical Examples of alertly

  • She went briskly, alertly, like one with a definite end in view.

    Four Girls and a Compact

    Annie Hamilton Donnell

  • Jim began backing off as soon as he had it in his hand, watching Spence alertly.

  • He looked at neither of the bad-men, but he was very coolly and alertly on guard.

    Oh, You Tex!

    William Macleod Raine

  • He was alertly watchful for any quick thrust that might find him off guard.

    Otherwise Phyllis

    Meredith Nicholson

  • He did not see the fire smouldering in the squinting eyes so alertly watching him.

    Bar-20 Days

    Clarence E. Mulford


British Dictionary definitions for alertly

alert

adjective (usually postpositive)
  1. vigilantly attentivealert to the problems
  2. brisk, nimble, or lively
Show More
noun
  1. an alarm or warning, esp a siren warning of an air raid
  2. the period during which such a warning remains in effect
  3. on the alert
    1. on guard against danger, attack, etc
    2. watchful; readyon the alert for any errors
Show More
verb (tr)
  1. to warn or signal (troops, police, etc) to prepare for action
  2. to warn of danger, an attack, etc
Show More
Derived Formsalertly, adverbalertness, noun

Word Origin for alert

C17: from Italian all'erta on the watch, from erta lookout post, from ergere to build up, from Latin ērigere; see erect
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

Word Origin and History for alertly

adv.

1787, from alert + -ly (2).

Show More

alert

adv.

"on the watch," 1590s, from French alerte "vigilant" (17c.), from phrase à l'erte "on the watch," from Italian all'erta "to the height," from erta "lookout, high tower," noun use of fem. of erto, past participle of ergere "raise up," from Latin erigere "raise" (see erect). The adjective is attested from 1610s, the noun from 1803, and the verb from 1868. Related: Alerted; alerting.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with alertly

alert

see on the alert.

Show More
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.