[oh-vurt, oh-vurt]


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 formsun·o·vert, adjective
Can be confusedcovert overt

Synonyms for overt

Antonyms for overt

1. private, concealed.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for overt

Contemporary Examples of overt

Historical Examples of overt

  • At the first overt act of resistance, let them give the word to fire.

  • 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



open to view; observable
law open; deliberate. Criminal intent may be inferred from an overt act
Derived Formsovertly, adverbovertness, noun

Word Origin for overt

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

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