How to use "overt" as noun in a sentence?

Can the noun of "overt" be made?

I found that it is adjective but I want to use it as noun.

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  • It's not at all common in English to use a noun form of overt. Can you give an example sentence where you want to use it? – The Photon Nov 12 '17 at 17:34
  • 1
    You didn't put much research into that, now did you? What do you think it might be? – BillJ Nov 12 '17 at 17:34
  • Checking a dictionary will answer your question. – Andrew Nov 12 '17 at 17:42
  • @Andrew, the noun form is rare enough that not every dictionary provides it. – The Photon Nov 12 '17 at 17:43
  • Google Books claims almost 500 written instances of the overt is... Compare, for example, the poor are always with us. Sure, we have the explicitly "nouny" terms overtness and poverty, but they don't have the same meanings. – FumbleFingers Nov 12 '17 at 17:49

There isn't any common noun form of overt.

I checked three online dictionaries. Two gave no noun form for overt, and one provided overtness, which is also what I would have given off the top of my head. But this word is very rare and I can't think of any time I've ever used or heard it in daily life.

If you use overtness it will probably be understood, but you might rather use a more common synonym like openness or transparency.

Edit: as FumbleFingers points out in comments, you can simply use the overt as a noun to mean "that which is overt", much as you can use the poor to mean "those who are poor". Use this if you want a noun for things that are overt.

If you want to talk about "the state or quality of being overt", then you need overtness or a synonym as I said above.

  • dictionaries like Cambridge English and the Oxford Living online dictionaries sometimes provide limited content. You have to pay (or have access) to see everything. So just because "overtness" doesn't show up in those dictionaries, doesn't mean anything. Pretty much every other dictionary (without a paywall) I checked includes overtly and overtness. But, yeah, otherwise I agree it's so rare as to sound weird if you use it. – Andrew Nov 12 '17 at 18:04
  • In the noun phrase "the poor", "poor" is an adjective, not a noun. It means "the poor people". "Poor" functions as a fused modifier-head. Same analysis applies to "the overt". – BillJ Nov 12 '17 at 18:07
  • @Andrew, fair enough, but if we tell askers to "just go look in a dictionary" they're likely to also see these limited results. – The Photon Nov 12 '17 at 18:07

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