This paper presents the results of a search for generic short-duration gravitational-wave transients in data from the third observing run of Advanced LIGO and Advanced Virgo. Transients with durations of milliseconds to a few seconds in the 24–4096 Hz frequency band are targeted by the search, with no assumptions made regarding the incoming signal direction, polarization or morphology. Gravitational waves from compact binary coalescences that have been identified by other targeted analyses are detected, but no statistically significant evidence for other gravitational wave bursts is found. Sensitivities to a variety of signals are presented. These include updated upper limits on the source rate-density as a function of the characteristic frequency of the signal, which are roughly an order of magnitude better than previous upper limits. This search is sensitive to sources radiating as little as ∼∼10−10M⊙c2−10M⊙c2 in gravitational waves at ∼∼70 Hz from a distance of 10~kpc, with 50\% detection efficiency at a false alarm rate of one per century. The sensitivity of this search to two plausible astrophysical sources is estimated: neutron star f-modes, which may be excited by pulsar glitches, as well as selected core-collapse supernova models.