- Word History, Word Explorer
|part of speech:
||quick to notice and act.
The alert driver saw the child in the road and quickly stopped the car.
- similar words:
- aware, quick
||alertly (adv.), alertness (n.)
The English word alert
comes from a l'erte
, an early French phrase that means "on guard" or "on the watch." This French phrase came from an Italian military phrase, all'erta
means "a high or raised place," such as a hilltop or tower soldiers might use to see the enemy coming from a distance. All'erta meant "standing on the high tower."