con·​ceal kən-ˈsēl How to pronounce conceal (audio)
concealed; concealing; conceals

transitive verb

: to prevent disclosure or recognition of
conceal the truth
She could barely conceal her anger.
: to place out of sight
concealed himself behind the door
The defendant is accused of attempting to conceal evidence.
concealable adjective
concealingly adverb
concealment noun
Choose the Right Synonym for conceal

hide, conceal, screen, secrete, bury mean to withhold or withdraw from sight.

hide may or may not suggest intent.

hide in the closet
a house hidden in the woods

conceal usually does imply intent and often specifically implies a refusal to divulge.

concealed the weapon

screen implies an interposing of something that prevents discovery.

a house screened by trees

secrete suggests a depositing in a place unknown to others.

secreted the amulet inside his shirt

bury implies covering up so as to hide completely.

buried the treasure

Examples of conceal in a Sentence

The sunglasses conceal her eyes. The controls are concealed behind a panel. The defendant is accused of attempting to conceal evidence. The editorial accused the government of concealing the truth. She could barely conceal her anger.
Recent Examples on the Web The city’s crumbling high-rises, tight alleyways and underground tunnels potentially concealing Hamas rocket factories would take a painstaking process to clear. Adam Taylor, Washington Post, 6 Dec. 2023 According to court filings and the Justice Department, Banque Pictet & Cie, Co helped a group of U.S. taxpayers hide $5.6 billion in order to conceal income, which saved them $50.6 million in taxes over those years. Marley Jay, NBC News, 4 Dec. 2023 Williams, whose Robbery-Homicide Division detectives are handling the investigation, said the suspect appeared to have taken measures to conceal his identity, including covering his face at the time of the shooting. Salvador Hernandez, Los Angeles Times, 2 Dec. 2023 Barton spotted a hole in one of the walls, concealed by pink satin curtains. Elaine Blair, The New York Review of Books, 30 Nov. 2023 At the end of the day, simply close the closet doors to conceal your workstation and keep your home looking clutter-free. Jessica Bennett, Better Homes & Gardens, 28 Nov. 2023 Further inspection of the vehicle revealed that 62 bundles of blue pills were concealed inside its door panels and seats, the agency said. Stephen Sorace, Fox News, 22 Nov. 2023 The next-man-up mind-set is pervasive in a violent sport that requires its athletes to be concealed in helmets, and in a league that enforces a strict uniform policy and delivers five-figure fines for excessive celebrations. Emmanuel Morgan, New York Times, 20 Nov. 2023 All plutonium work has been paused for the day to conceal the classified details of pit production. Sarah Scoles, Scientific American, 14 Nov. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'conceal.' 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 concelen, borrowed from Anglo-French conceler, borrowed from Latin concēlāre, from con- con- + cēlāre "to hide, keep secret," probably derivative of an unattested lengthened-grade noun formed from the Indo-European verb base *ḱel- "cover, conceal," whence Latin occulere "to hide from view, keep secret" (from *ob-cel-), Old Irish ceilid "(s/he) hides," Welsh celaf "(I) hide," Germanic *hel-a- "hide" (whence Old English, Old Saxon & Old High German helan "to hide, keep secret")

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of conceal was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near conceal

Cite this Entry

“Conceal.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


con·​ceal kən-ˈsē(ə)l How to pronounce conceal (audio)
: to keep secret
conceal a fact
: to hide from sight
carry a concealed weapon
concealable adjective
concealer noun

Legal Definition


transitive verb
: to prevent disclosure of or fail to disclose (as a provision in a contract) especially in violation of a duty to disclose
: to place out of sight

Note: A weapon need only be placed out of ordinary observation in order to be considered a concealed weapon.

: to prevent or hinder recognition, discovery, or recovery of
concealing stolen property
concealment noun

More from Merriam-Webster on conceal

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