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 Clay and his friends decided to create a code word right before season four started in order to get together. Tamara Fuentes, Seventeen, "Who is Gordon Lightfoot from "13 Reasons Why"?," 18 June 2020 IndyStar was told at the time that Anderson and Geathers had discussed using a code word to signal specific actions during the play. Dana Hunsinger Benbow, The Indianapolis Star, "The infamous Colts Catastrophe: 'It's amazing Luck didn't retire right then'," 18 Oct. 2020 Some opposed to her confirmation argue this is merely a code word in service of a right-wing political agenda, or that originalism will bring us back to the days when slavery was legal and women were denied the right to vote. Brian Hagedorn, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Opinion: Originalism, which Amy Coney Barrett espouses, simply means the words of the Constitution are the law.," 15 Oct. 2020 But Hollywood — again, that code word — also lends itself to business strategies, investments and creative people. Oline H. Cogdill,, "Mystery review: The plot is the thing in entertaining Hollywood-set ‘Dead West’," 11 Aug. 2020 And how did the parents find out about their secret code word? Tamara Fuentes, Seventeen, "Who is Gordon Lightfoot from "13 Reasons Why"?," 18 June 2020 Maureen Maher: Was there a — code word, or some sort of secret between you and Mary? Correspondent Maureen Maher, CBS News, "Could a suspected murder victim — back from the dead — really be an impostor?," 2 May 2020 The government is taking action to address the problem, relocating women to hotels and employing a secret code word so victims can seek help at pharmacies. Fortune, "Her country’s approach to the coronavirus appears to be working," 1 Apr. 2020 What sort of people name their child a code word like Amaryllis Fox? Jim Higdon, The Courier-Journal, "This former CIA agent is sharing her 'Life Undercover' at an exclusive Louisville event," 2 Mar. 2020

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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Time Traveler for code word

Time Traveler

The first known use of code word was in 1884

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Cite this Entry

“Code word.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Feb. 2021.

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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

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