Definition of pert in US English:



  • 1(of a girl or young woman) attractively lively or cheeky.

    ‘a pert Belgian actress’
    • ‘The fate of their characters suggests that women who are not young, pert secretaries or household workers have no real hope of sexual fulfillment and can find only a compromised, damaged form of love.’
    • ‘Extreme makeovers take us step by step through the process of smoothing out the wrinkles and wiping away the years, while advertisers use pert models to sell us everything from soft drinks to laundry detergents.’
    • ‘Various aristocratic women round out the picture, which also includes his ardently supportive young secretary and his pert fiancée.’
    • ‘She looked young, vital, pert, drop-dead-gorgeous and as happy as a lottery winner.’
    • ‘But she's not actually ugly; she's just pert and smart-mouthed and has a sexy voice, completely according with that romcom genre convention of the comic sidekick to the heroine.’
    • ‘But you don't complain, because if they turned the lights up the pert young thing next to you might faint at the sight of your ravaged features.’
    • ‘I looked her up about ten years ago, the anniversary of my father's death, I think; and she was still lively and pert.’
    • ‘A pert, blond-haired woman coiffed and clothed in the style of an American homemaker, circa 1970, stands in the driveway outside her sprawling suburban home.’
    • ‘The pert and perky secretary in the waiting room was unsuccessful in her attempts to keep the man at bay.’
    • ‘As a member of the Crew, she gets to deliver clues on-air from random spots around the world, and spends the rest of the year traveling the country as a pert and perky promotional rep at contestant searches like this one.’
    • ‘A pert, young blonde came in to put us through our mathematical paces but alas, she came bearing fractions.’
    springy, flexible, resilient
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 (of a young person or their speech or behavior) impudent.
      ‘no need to be pert, miss’
      • ‘‘Don't be pert with me now girl,’ he said with a rising inflection within his voice.’
      • ‘We were just confronted with this very pert young lady screaming blue murder on her front building site.’
      • ‘He, on the other hand, is impudent, and addresses the Lord with pert familiarity.’
      • ‘They asked cheeky questions and made pert remarks.’
      • ‘The term ‘esquire’, like that of ‘gentleman’, was gradually applied to any man as a suffix, and its final degradation was as a 20th-cent. term of pert familiarity.’
      impudent, impertinent, cheeky, irreverent, forward, insolent, disrespectful, flippant, familiar, presumptuous, audacious, bold, bold as brass, brazen, cocky, out of line, shameless
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2
      another term for peart
  • 2(of a bodily feature or garment) attractive because neat and jaunty.

    ‘she had a pert nose and deep blue eyes’
    • ‘It had vanished back to its little pocket universe and things were as they were before I stuck my pert little nose into the mess.’
    • ‘Lipton looked at her pert nose, but refrained from commenting.’
    • ‘Amy is a picture, in her pert wee bonnet and a lovely blue dress.’
    • ‘It framed a little heart shaped face with big eyes, a pert nose and a neat, bow shaped mouth.’
    • ‘Her pert nose had freckles splayed here and there and her full, pink lips were slightly parted.’
    • ‘She pushed her glasses back up her pert nose, the gold frames settling back in front of her eyes where the oval lenses of pink glass hid some of the redness.’
    • ‘He caught a glimpse of himself in the mirror and squirmed at the sight of a balding old man with a pert nose and an infinity of lines on his face.’
    • ‘Her features were feminine and delicate - full, high cheekbones; small, pert nose; Cupid's bow.’
    • ‘Marva blinked, and examined Hank more closely, pulling the sunglasses halfway down her pert nose, exposing a pair of pale blue eyes.’
    • ‘She had almond-shaped hazel eyes, with a pert nose, accompanied by a defiant chin.’
    • ‘She had a pert nose and had a mischievous look in her light brown eyes.’
    • ‘This upstart has been getting his pert little nose in our affairs a little too often I think.’
    • ‘Calliope wrinkled her pert little nose and fished in her backpack for concealer and foundation.’
    • ‘She is sturdy and curvy with a pert upturned nose and shiny brown pigtails.’
    • ‘Her little pert nose, her well defined cheeks, her small, but always warm lips, now pressed into a thin line that told Ethan she had something on her mind.’
    • ‘Her neatly shaped face boasted high cheekbones and a pert pug nose, beneath which a firm pink mouth was drawn into a seductive glower.’
    • ‘The nose is pert and solid and the cheeks blush with anointed health.’
    • ‘She had silky dark brown hair, large emerald green eyes, and an adorable pert nose.’
    • ‘She was tall, but not overly so, with milky pale skin and pure sapphire eyes followed by a pert nose, full, rose lips, and highly defined cheek bones.’
    • ‘My face seemed somewhat gaunt to me, with slightly sunken green eyes and pert nose.’
    jaunty, neat, trim, stylish, smart, spruce, perky, rakish
    View synonyms


Middle English (in the sense ‘manifest’): from Old French apert, from Latin apertus ‘opened’, past participle of aperire, reinforced by Old French aspert, from Latin expertus (see expert).