One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1‘police have asked neighbours to be alert after a spate of burglaries in the area’
vigilant, wide awake, aware, watchful, attentive, observant, circumspect, wary, chary, heedful, canny
on the lookout, on one's guard, on one's toes, all ears, keeping one's eyes open, keeping one's eyes peeled, keeping a weather eye open, on the qui vive
2‘she continued to paint in old age in order to remain mentally alert’
quick-witted, sharp, bright, quick, keen, perceptive, wide awake, responsive, agile, acute, astute
informal on the ball, on one's toes, quick off the mark, quick on the uptake, all there, with it, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed
1‘the army called for a state of alert’
vigilance, watchfulness, carefulness, attentiveness, guardedness, care, caution, cautiousness, wariness, chariness, alertness, circumspection, prudence, heedfulness, heed, mindfulness
2‘a flood alert has been issued’
warning, caution, notification, notice, exhortation, injunction
siren, alarm, signal, danger signal, distress signal
1‘police were alerted by a phone call from the house’
warn, notify, apprise, caution, put on one's guard, forewarn, put on the qui vive, arouse
informal tip off, clue in, put in the picture, put wise
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