code word


Definition of code word 

Examples of code word in a Sentence

The code word “conflict” has been used for what some people are calling a war.

Recent Examples on the Web

Type in the code word from the June/July issue and enter here to win! Seventeen Magazine, Seventeen, "Win a $1000 Smooth N' Shine Gift Card!," 31 July 2011 Also see how Hayes corrals, among others, James Baldwin, Toni Morrison, Maxine Waters, Emily Dickinson, Prince and Eurydice as shields, as code words, to repel would-be assassins. Walton Muyumba,, "The right poetry collection for right now: Terrance Hayes' 'American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassin'," 14 June 2018 From the start, Trump sought to make Clinton's stamina and endurance -- both code words for her overall health -- an issue in the campaign. Chris Cillizza, CNN, "Here's 4 reasons why Donald Trump faking a doctor's note actually matters," 2 May 2018 Match scans for suspicious code words, and immediately takes down profiles reported for violations. John D. Mckinnon, WSJ, "New Law Targets Sex Trafficking. It Could Also Hit Online Dating," 30 May 2018 What code words: colors, animals, cities, states—every team is different. Andy Benoit,, "The Secrets of a Linebacker," 16 May 2018 The president has instead opted for gradualism, which is a code word for soft-pedaling the sad facts. Mary Anastasia O’grady, WSJ, "The Argentine Peso’s Death Spiral," 13 May 2018 The number started out as a code word used by several stony Marin County high-school students trying to skirt police, parents and teachers. Brad Branan, sacbee, "Four things to know about 420 on the eve of 4/20 | The Sacramento Bee," 19 Apr. 2018 Presale tickets will be available starting Thursday (April 26) from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. through, with the code word DANCE. Doug Maccash,, "The 4th Lil' WeezyAna Fest fires up on Aug. 25," 25 Apr. 2018

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

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First Known Use of code word

1884, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for code word

Last Updated

23 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for code word

The first known use of code word was in 1884

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More Definitions for code word

code word


English Language Learners Definition of code word

: a word or phrase that has a secret meaning or that is used instead of another word or phrase to avoid speaking directly

Comments on code word

What made you want to look up code word? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to make faulty or ineffective

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