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 father Charles 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

Example Sentences

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
The deepest chamber, nicknamed the Treasury, was guarded by a huge black jackal, representing the god Anubis, with a linen cloak, collar of blue flowers, claws of silver, and ears and eyes of gold. Jo Marchant, Smithsonian Magazine, 3 Nov. 2022 Grommet, an 8-year-old yellow lab, took home the top prize for his Harry Potter costume, complete with a cloak, glasses and a scarf. Caroline Kubzansky, Chicago Tribune, 1 Nov. 2022 But after dinner, Talya, a handmaiden to Queen Alicent, meets with her in the cloak of night. Erica Gonzales, ELLE, 10 Oct. 2022 Westerling refuses, removing his cloak and resigning. Randall Colburn,, 17 Oct. 2022 In 1969, Annigoni’s second portrait of Elizabeth placed her head-on and almost defiant, her cloak armoring her against a dark sky. Dominic Green, WSJ, 9 Sep. 2022 This Halloween costume includes the full suit with a cloak, gloves and pants. Danielle Directo-meston, The Hollywood Reporter, 5 Oct. 2022 The rest—the dark cloak that Cecil Beaton photographed her in, and the Order of the Garter robe, and a fur coat—would be layered on top of it and removed for the different pictures. Taylor Antrim, Vogue, 9 Sep. 2022 The largest of all rays and one of the largest fish in the ocean, mantas are named for their unique appearance, with their common name meaning ‘blanket’ or ‘cloak’ in Spanish. Melissa Cristina Márquez, Forbes, 18 July 2022
The Dark Web is a network of servers that use anonymity software to cloak their locations. Sabela Ojea, WSJ, 19 Sep. 2022 Its real mission, Gutierrez said, was to cloak Rapier’s funding of political causes. Patrick Danner, San Antonio Express-News, 29 Aug. 2022 Some viruses will cloak their innards from cellular sensors, so the relevant alarm wires never get tripped. Katherine J. Wu, The Atlantic, 4 Aug. 2022 So along with ex-Googler Barath Raghavan, Schmitt founded Invisv, a startup dedicated to figuring out how to cloak its users' IMSIs. Sascha Segan, PCMAG, 11 Aug. 2022 This movement uses Christian language to cloak sexism and hostility to Black people and non-White immigrants in its quest to create a White Christian America. John Blake, CNN, 24 July 2022 Many Ukrainian workers tried to cloak their loyalties, speaking in Russian and cleaning out old social-media posts. Drew Hinshaw, WSJ, 17 June 2022 Russians are understandably proud of their nation's historic spaceflight glory, and Putin wanted to cloak himself in the glow of Gagarin's achievement. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, 13 Apr. 2022 Many mass shooters leave manifestos, hoping to cloak their violent actions in noble speech. Frank Shyongcolumnist, Los Angeles Times, 17 May 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cloak.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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 1 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition

cloak 1 of 2


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


2 of 2


: to cover or hide with a cloak

More from Merriam-Webster on cloak

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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