Synonyms & Antonyms of alert

(Entry 1 of 3)

1 the act or an instance of telling beforehand of danger or risk
  • the white flash of the doe's raised tail, giving the "danger" alert to her fawns

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2 the state of being constantly attentive and responsive to signs of opportunity, activity, or danger
  • the doctor told the patient to be on the alert for any signs of infection

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Synonyms & Antonyms of alert (Entry 2 of 3)

to give notice to beforehand especially of danger or risk
  • alerted us to the possibility that the roads would be flooded and we might have to take a detour

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Synonyms & Antonyms of alert (Entry 3 of 3)

1 paying close attention usually for the purpose of anticipating approaching danger or opportunity
  • she needed to stay alert throughout the train ride so as not to miss her stop

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3 having or showing quickness of mind
  • an alert and well-trained sheep dog who can handle difficult situations

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4 having or showing the ability to respond without delay or hesitation
  • an alert force of commandos, ready to go on a mission at a moment's notice

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See the Dictionary Definition 

Frequently Asked Questions About alert

How does the adjective alert contrast with its synonyms?

Some common synonyms of alert are vigilant, watchful, and wide-awake. While all these words mean "being on the lookout especially for danger or opportunity," alert stresses readiness or promptness in meeting danger or in seizing opportunity.

alert traders anticipated the stock market's slide

When can vigilant be used instead of alert?

The synonyms vigilant and alert are sometimes interchangeable, but vigilant suggests intense, unremitting, wary watchfulness.

eternally vigilant in the safeguarding of democracy

When might watchful be a better fit than alert?

In some situations, the words watchful and alert are roughly equivalent. However, watchful is the least explicit term.

the watchful eye of the department supervisor

When could wide-awake be used to replace alert?

The words wide-awake and alert can be used in similar contexts, but wide-awake applies to watchfulness for opportunities and developments more often than dangers.

wide-awake companies latched onto the new technology

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Time Traveler for alert

Time Traveler

The first known use of alert was in 1618

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Cite this Entry

“Alert.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Aug. 2021.

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More from Merriam-Webster on alert

Nglish: Translation of alert for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of alert for Arabic Speakers


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