1 of 2


: a loose outer garment
: something likened to an outer garment: such as
: something that envelops or conceals
a cloak of secrecy
: a distinctive character or role
hung up his academic cloak … to become a stay-at-home fatherCharles Chamberlain


2 of 2


cloaked; cloaking; cloaks

transitive verb

: to cover or hide with or as if with a cloak
Choose the Right Synonym for cloak

disguise, cloak, mask mean to alter the dress or appearance of so as to conceal the identity or true nature.

disguise implies a change in appearance or behavior that misleads by presenting a different apparent identity.

disguised herself as a peasant

cloak suggests a means of hiding a movement or an intention.

cloaked their maneuvers in secrecy

mask suggests some often obvious means of hiding or disguising something.

smiling to mask his discontent

Examples of cloak in a Sentence

Noun Their plans were shrouded in a cloak of secrecy. the cloak of mystery that surrounds the royal family Verb the outlaw nation had cloaked its chemical weapons plant as a fertilizer factory cloaked their military maneuvers from the outside world
Recent Examples on the Web
As a montage of flashback photos featuring Janet since childhood flickered by, the central screen rose to reveal the superstar standing immobile on the circular stage wrapped in a purple hooded cloak. Billboard Japan, Billboard, 2 Apr. 2024 Faye and Anna were in thrall to the Kingman, a faceless monster of the woods in a black cloak and light-colored crown. Jim Higgins, Journal Sentinel, 25 Mar. 2024 Join 7 others in the comments View Comments Videos posted on social media showed a figure in a cloak and mask emerging from behind a mirror, with children watching on, sounding increasingly horrified. Issy Ronald, CNN, 28 Feb. 2024 Videos posted on social media showed a figure in a cloak and mask emerging from behind a mirror, with children watching on, sounding increasingly horrified. Wire Service, The Mercury News, 28 Feb. 2024 The researchers think that the complete statue once depicted the god in a standing position, either draped in a short cloak or nude and holding a staff known as a caduceus with two snakes spiraling around it. Julia Binswanger, Smithsonian Magazine, 27 Feb. 2024 Add other aromatics to the sauce, or top the pie with your favorite pizza parlor ingredients, then add a cloak of melty cheese. Rita Nader Heikenfeld, The Enquirer, 17 Feb. 2024 Scientists at regulatory agencies, especially the Food and Drug Administration, leaked information to him, typically under cloak of anonymity. Michael S. Rosenwald, Washington Post, 1 Jan. 2024 But that cloak of responsibility is concealing their irresponsibility: This team desperately seeking wing defense also didn’t find a way to fill its Jarred Vanderbilt-sized void. Mirjam Swanson, Orange County Register, 8 Feb. 2024
Eyes were softly sculpted with warm taupe shades from the Mothership I: Subliminal Palette to add gentle definition, and lashes that were coated but not cloaked in Dark Star Mascara at the roots only. Georgia Day, Vogue, 24 Jan. 2024 In a resonant pre-internet illustration of this thesis, the mayor’s infuriating hypocrisy, cloaked in communal concern and democratic pieties, drives Dr. Stockmann, a man of reason, into an irrational frenzy. Charles McNulty, Los Angeles Times, 12 Mar. 2024 She and her family are welcomed by the queen, Isabelle (Robin Wright, gorgeously cloaked in robes, power and snobbery), and her fiancé, Prince Henry (Nick Robinson), who looks oddly sheepish, as if he’d been caught in a lie on his Royal Match profile. Tom Gliatto, Peoplemag, 8 Mar. 2024 Sausage—stuffed with gooey cheese—is served in tacos cloaked with aromatic salsas. Kayla Stewart, Bon Appétit, 23 Feb. 2024 The unmasking of an antisemitism, cloaked in ethical superiority yet openly calling for genocide, has left young diaspora Jews betrayed, and some have embraced a feeling heretofore unknown: Zionism. TIME, 20 Feb. 2024 Nearby a flat boulder cloaked in the shade of the yawning oak trees was dimpled with grinding holes created by nameless Native Americans, decades, or even centuries, ago. Ernie Cowan, San Diego Union-Tribune, 18 Feb. 2024 By cloaking their gods in the guise of Catholic saints, the enslaved in Cuba could continue to worship as their forebearers in Benin and Congo had done. Helena Alonso Paisley, Miami Herald, 29 Jan. 2024 The West Maui Mountains, formed by volcanic eruptions, towered in the distance, partially cloaked by clouds. Reis Thebault, Washington Post, 21 Jan. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'cloak.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



Middle English cloke, from Anglo-French cloque bell, cloak, from Medieval Latin clocca bell; from its shape

First Known Use


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1509, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of cloak was in the 13th century

Dictionary Entries Near cloak

Cite this Entry

“Cloak.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 noun
: a long loose outer garment
: something that conceals or covers
a cloak of secrecy surrounded the talks


2 of 2 verb
: to cover or hide with a cloak


Middle English cloke "cloak," from early French cloque "cloak, bell"; so named because a cloak resembled a bell in shape — related to clock

More from Merriam-Webster on cloak

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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