covert

adjective
co·vert | \ ˈkō-(ˌ)vərt , kō-ˈvərt ; ˈkə-vərt \

Definition of covert 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : not openly shown, engaged in, or avowed : veiled a covert alliance a covert military operation

2 : covered over : sheltered covert places in the woods

covert

noun
co·vert | \ ˈkə-vərt , ˈkō-vərt also ˈkə-vər \

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

That has led to famous scenes of covert exchanges of suitcases full of cash. BostonGlobe.com, "How Russian spies hid behind bitcoin in hacking campaign," 14 July 2018 What was for so long a war of words and covert actions between Israel and Iran risks moving closer to open confrontation. Oren Liebermann, CNN, "Analysis: Iran and Israel draw closer to war than ever," 30 Apr. 2018 Applications include tagging coral reefs for research, cleaning barnacles off of boats, building piers, laying underwater pipes, covert actions that remain classified, and, of course, building the underwater patio of your dreams. Timothy Dahl, Popular Mechanics, "This Drill Handles Saltwater Like a Boss," 12 Jan. 2016 That has led to famous scenes of covert exchanges of suitcases full of cash. BostonGlobe.com, "How Russian spies hid behind bitcoin in hacking campaign," 14 July 2018 That has led to famous scenes of covert exchanges of suitcases full of cash. BostonGlobe.com, "How Russian spies hid behind bitcoin in hacking campaign," 14 July 2018 That has led to famous scenes of covert exchanges of suitcases full of cash. New York Times, "How Russian Spies Hid Behind Bitcoin in Hacking Campaign," 13 July 2018 But translating such knowledge into a practical identification system can be tricky—especially if that system is supposed to be covert. The Economist, "The way people walk can be used for ID and health checks," 12 July 2018 Women's sexuality is supposed to be covert and hidden somewhere -- certainly back in the '70s when this was recorded. Hilary Hughes, Billboard, "Patti Smith on 'Because The Night' at 40: How Her Bruce Springsteen Collaboration Is 'A Whole Life in A Song'," 21 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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 The new count includes covert as well as temporary units, defense officials said. Helene Cooper, New York Times, "U.S. Says It Has 11,000 Troops in Afghanistan, More Than Formerly Disclosed," 30 Aug. 2017 Regardless, losing 2-1 to Trinidad/Tobago in a qualifier Tuesday – and thus being eliminated from the 2018 World Cup – ain’t gonna create more coverts to the church of futbol. Paul Daugherty, Cincinnati.com, "Doc: More of the same from Dusty Baker; Goodell misplaces his spine," 11 Oct. 2017 Prosecutors said the provision hampered their covert, undercover and sting investigations. Sam Roberts, New York Times, "Joseph M. McDade, 18-Term Pennsylvania Congressman, Dies at 85," 26 Sep. 2017 How British democracy was subverted through a covert, far-reaching plan of coordination enabled by a US billionaire. Will Bunch, Philly.com, "The key to the Trump-Russia scandal? Follow the data," 13 July 2017 Young argued to a San Diego judge that both Panesar and Hastie should remain in custody, noting the significant evidence obtained during the FBI’s yearlong covert wiretap investigation. Kristina Davis, sandiegouniontribune.com, "FBI: More victims likely scammed by fake DHS agents in immigration fraud case," 8 July 2017 Kooler Klub Price: $40.95 An inconspicuous 3-wood with a dispenser right in its head—stock up and enlist a caddy just to transport your covert full bar from hole to hole. Molly Fitzpatrick, Bon Appetit, "15 Highly Unlikely Flasks to Hide Your Booze In," 9 June 2017

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

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

Noun

see covert entry 1

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Statistics for covert

Last Updated

5 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for covert

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

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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 , 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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Comments on covert

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