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ad·​vert ad-ˈvərt How to pronounce advert (audio)
adverted; adverting; adverts

intransitive verb

: to turn the mind or attention
used with to
adverted to the speaker
: to call attention in the course of speaking or writing : make reference
used with to
adverted to foreign-language sources


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ad·​vert ˈad-ˌvərt How to pronounce advert (audio)
chiefly British

Did you know?

You may be familiar with the noun advert, which is used, especially in British sources, as a shortened form of advertisement. That's one way to use advert, but it has also been used as a verb in English since the 15th century. There's a hint about the origin of the verb in the idea of "turning" the mind or attention to something; the word derives via Anglo-French from the Latin verb advertere, which in turn comes from Latin vertere, meaning "to turn." Vertere is the ancestor of a number of words in English, including controversy, divert, invert, revert, and even versatile. In addition, we'd like to turn your attention to one particular vertere descendant: avert, meaning "to avoid." Be careful to avoid mixing this one up with advert.

Example Sentences

Noun I saw your advert in the newspaper. busily perusing the job adverts in the Sunday Times
Recent Examples on the Web
Yet to advert to rules of tonal consistency is to impose an external, puristic point of view on material that is wonderfully motley and personal. Jesse Green, New York Times, 27 July 2017
But a new advert for the chain initially released in the UK upends that tradition. Cassie Werber, Quartz, 16 Jan. 2023 An article about cars might feature a Volkswagen advert, for example. Morgan Meaker, WIRED, 5 Jan. 2023 How many students have lost out on places in great labs just because another candidate happened to see that job advert and apply? Neuroskeptic, Discover Magazine, 17 Jan. 2020 Quite how the Christmas advert for department store John Lewis became a favourite part of the Christmas Holiday season is open to debate. Mark Faithfull, Forbes, 11 Nov. 2022 Fran Summers is one such advert for a drastic haircut come good. Ellie Pithers, Vogue, 1 Nov. 2022 The advert was supported with specialist advice from Action for Children and Who Cares? Kate Hardcastle, Forbes, 10 Nov. 2022 Remember that episode of Friends where Joey ended up in an STD advert after a spot of seemingly innocuous modeling? WIRED, 18 Oct. 2022 Harington and Leslie revealed that they were officially engaged by way of a classified advert in The Times. Alex Gurley, Peoplemag, 23 Sep. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'advert.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History



Middle English averten, adverten "to notice, think of, consider, be heedful," borrowed from Anglo-French avertir, advertir "to notify, (reflexive) recognize, be mindful of," going back to Vulgar Latin *advertīre, alteration (by conjugational shift) of Latin advertere "to turn or direct toward, direct (attention) toward, pay heed (to), attract the attention of," from ad- ad- + vertere "to turn" — more at worth entry 4


by shortening

First Known Use


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1814, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of advert was in the 15th century


Dictionary Entries Near advert

Cite this Entry

“Advert.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Feb. 2023.

Kids Definition


: to make a reference : refer

More from Merriam-Webster on advert

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