"on the watch," 1590s, from French alerte "vigilant" (17c.), from phrase à l'erte "on the watch," from Italian all'erta "to the height," from erta "lookout, high tower," noun use of fem. of erto, past participle of ergere "raise up," from Latin erigere "raise" (see erect). The adjective is attested from 1610s, the noun from 1803, and the verb from 1868. Related: Alerted; alerting.
/*'l*rt/ An audible and/or visual message intended to inform a system's users or administrators about a change in the operating conditions of that system or about some kind of error condition. In a graphical user interface, an alert would typically be displayed as a small window containing the message and a button to click to dismiss the window.