cloak-and-dag·​ger ˈklōk-ən(d)-ˈda-gər How to pronounce cloak-and-dagger (audio)
: dealing in or suggestive of melodramatic intrigue and action usually involving secret agents and espionage
a cloak-and-dagger novel
cloak-and-dagger noun

Examples of cloak-and-dagger in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Octopussy is a classic cloak-and-dagger nail-biter about a scheme by a rogue Russian general (Steven Berkoff) to detonate a nuke on an American military base in Germany. Chris Nashawaty,, 29 May 2024 The criteria for official status as a combattant privileged cloak-and-dagger activities like gathering information, sabotaging rail lines, printing clandestine newspapers, or assisting the escape of Jewish and foreign refugees. Robert Zaretsky, Foreign Affairs, 23 Aug. 2019 Best Nightlife Cloakroom Bar The 25-seat Cloakroom Bar, with a cloak-and-dagger atmosphere, was named Canada’s second-best bar in 2023. Elizabeth Warkentin, Travel + Leisure, 15 Apr. 2024 Nicole Tung—The New York Times/Redux In the months since Karp’s cloak-and-dagger first meeting with Zelensky, Palantir brass have fallen into a familiar routine on their frequent trips into Ukraine. TIME, 8 Feb. 2024 But there was nothing cloak-and-dagger about their interactions. Jimmy Soni, IEEE Spectrum, 12 July 2017 Indiana probably needs more than a cloak-and-dagger quarterback approach to tighten the 29.5-point spread for Saturday’s game. Nathan Baird, cleveland, 28 Aug. 2023 People close to Gagosian have sometimes been taken aback by his cloak-and-dagger tradecraft. Patrick Radden Keefe, The New Yorker, 24 July 2023 The costume was anonymously returned with some cloak-and-dagger maneuvering, but the duo was identified through social media. Jr Radcliffe, Journal Sentinel, 12 June 2023

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

Word History

First Known Use

1860, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of cloak-and-dagger was in 1860

Dictionary Entries Near cloak-and-dagger

Cite this Entry

“Cloak-and-dagger.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Jul. 2024.

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