covert

adjective
co·​vert | \ ˈkō-(ˌ)vərt How to pronounce covert (audio) , kō-ˈvərt How to pronounce covert (audio) , ˈkə-vərt How to pronounce covert (audio) \

Definition of covert

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : not openly shown, engaged in, or avowed : veiled a covert alliance a covert military operation covert racism
2 : covered over : sheltered covert places in the woods

covert

noun
co·​vert | \ ˈkə-vərt How to pronounce covert (audio) , ˈkō-vərt How to pronounce covert (audio) also ˈkə-vər How to pronounce covert (audio) \

Definition of covert (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : hiding place : shelter
b : a thicket affording cover for game
c : a masking or concealing device
2 : a feather covering the bases of the quills of the wings and tail of a bird — see wing illustration
3 : a firm durable twilled sometimes waterproofed cloth usually of mixed-color yarns

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Other Words from covert

Adjective

covertly adverb
covertness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for covert

Adjective

secret, covert, stealthy, furtive, clandestine, surreptitious, underhanded mean done without attracting observation. secret implies concealment on any grounds for any motive. met at a secret location covert stresses the fact of not being open or declared. covert intelligence operations stealthy suggests taking pains to avoid being seen or heard especially in some misdoing. the stealthy step of a burglar furtive implies a sly or cautious stealthiness. lovers exchanging furtive glances clandestine implies secrecy usually for an evil, illicit, or unauthorized purpose and often emphasizes the fear of being discovered. a clandestine meeting of conspirators surreptitious applies to action or behavior done secretly often with skillful avoidance of detection and in violation of custom, law, or authority. the surreptitious stockpiling of weapons underhanded stresses fraud or deception. an underhanded trick

Examples of covert in a Sentence

Adjective He has taken part in a number of covert military operations. spy agencies taking covert action Noun set up a covert from which to watch wildlife without being detected the rabbit rushed to the safety of the nearest covert
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective In 2018, Australia passed sweeping national security laws that ban covert foreign interference in domestic politics. Rod Mcguirk, Star Tribune, "Australia government gains new power to scrap foreign pacts," 8 Dec. 2020 He was widely regarded by the West as the architect of a covert military nuclear program by Tehran that was halted in 2003. NBC News, "Iran's supreme leader vows retaliation for assassination of leading scientist," 28 Nov. 2020 Western intelligence agencies and Israel had described Fakhrizadeh as the mastermind behind Iran’s covert program aimed at building a nuclear weapon, which was halted in 2003. Washington Post, "Prominent Iranian nuclear scientist killed in attack outside Tehran," 27 Nov. 2020 The 17-minute video relies on unnamed sources, covert footage and uncorroborated translations from Somali to English to allege that canvassers for Omar and for City Council candidate Jamal Osman paid for votes in a recent election. Camille Caldera, USA TODAY, "Fact check: No proof of alleged voter fraud scheme or connection to Rep. Ilhan Omar," 16 Oct. 2020 Among Wagner’s clients was Osorio, who in July began a covert campaign to usurp the same board that couldn’t be bothered to respond quickly to his emergency. Matthew Sedacca, Curbed, "‘They’re Off in Long Island, and Don’t Give a Sh*t’: Co-op Boards Ghost Their Residents," 20 Jan. 2021 Somewhere distant from her traitorous body, a covert part of her mind slipped away to calculate her advantage. Rachel Epstein, Marie Claire, "'Detransition, Baby' Is Our February Book Club Pick," 25 Jan. 2021 The original Welrod pistol was originally developed as a covert wet work tool for British Special Operations Executive (SOE) and United States Office of Strategic Services (OSS) operatives undertaking cloak and dagger missions behind enemy lines. Chris Mudgett, Outdoor Life, "The Best New Handguns For 2021," 25 Jan. 2021 Undercover: Coming of Age in the CIA, by former covert agent Amaryllis Fox, is now on hold indefinitely. Halle Kiefer, Vulture, "Brie Larson Is Getting Ready to Whip Up Some Lessons in Chemistry at Apple+," 22 Jan. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Hunting coverts of primary and secondary growth isn’t always easy, and Faust’s advice is to be physically prepared for a day in the uplands. Tom Keer, Field & Stream, "16 Expert Upland Bird Hunting Tips," 2 June 2020 The bonus of finding a spring singing field is that you also will have pinpointed an autumn covert. Tom Fegely, Field & Stream, "Don’t Miss the Woodcock’s Spring Courtship Flight," 13 Apr. 2020 Back at the Tribe’s underground covert, the Mandalorian donates his full payment to his people. Alex Kane, USA TODAY, "The Mandalorian recap: Chapter 3 'The Sin'," 22 Nov. 2019 In July, a bomb targeting the Afghan covert service killed eight members and six civilians, and wounded hundreds more. New York Times, "Trump Administration Officials at Odds Over C.I.A.’s Role in Afghanistan," 2 Sep. 2019 The two-person rear bench seat coverts into a small double bed and a second double bed fits in the pop-top, allowing the Sixty to sleep four. Megan Barber, Curbed, "This Westfalia camper van is giving us 1950s-diner vibes," 1 Oct. 2018 To keep these images and video covert, cheaters may have a special cloud service. Kim Komando, Fox News, "8 clever ways that tech can reveal a cheating spouse," 15 Sep. 2018 Gates himself has already pleaded guilty to conspiracy and lying to the FBI and vowed to help Mueller's investigation into Russia's covert influencing of the election. Josh Hafner, USA TODAY, "OnPolitics Today: VA chief David Shulkin is done. Next up for Trump? Amazon, maybe," 28 Mar. 2018 When spelling the word out doesn’t work, Pig Latin is another way to keep, say, a potential trip to the ark-pay or oo-zay covert. Mark Peters, BostonGlobe.com, "Pig Latin is alive and ellway," 11 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'covert.' 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 covert

Adjective

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for covert

Adjective and Noun

Middle English, from Anglo-French, past participle of coverir to cover

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Time Traveler for covert

Time Traveler

The first known use of covert was in the 14th century

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Statistics for covert

Last Updated

27 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Covert.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/covert. Accessed 6 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for covert

covert

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of covert

: made, shown, or done in a way that is not easily seen or noticed : secret or hidden

covert

adjective
co·​vert | \ ˈkəv-ərt How to pronounce covert (audio) , ˈkō-vərt \

Kids Definition of covert

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: made or done secretly a covert glance covert military operations

Other Words from covert

covertly adverb

covert

noun

Kids Definition of covert (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a hiding place (as a thicket that gives shelter to game animals)
2 : one of the small feathers around the bottom of the quills on the wings and tail of a bird

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