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

In addition to these scenarios, abusive behaviors at work can be classified as either overt—direct acts of hostility in front of customers, in meetings, in group Slack channels—or covert, behind-the-scenes passive aggressiveness or undermining. Jessica Wakeman, Glamour, "Men Who Scream at Work Aren't "Passionate." They're Abusive.," 4 Sep. 2018 After all, planning a wedding is probably just as covert and elaborate an operation as shooting a beloved HBO costume drama. Katherine Cusumano, Glamour, "Sophie Turner and Maisie Williams Had a Very Specific Self-Care Ritual to Deal With Game of Thrones Stress," 8 Oct. 2018 The tactics become more complex, more covert, and harder to detect. Emily Stewart, Vox, "“This is now the new normal”: An expert explains why cybersecurity risks aren’t going away," 26 Aug. 2018 Libby is a former Bush administration official who was convicted of perjury and obstruction of justice in March 2007 in the case of Valerie Plame, who was outed as a covert CIA agent. George Petras, USA TODAY, "President Trump’s pardons and commutations," 10 July 2018 As the Syria conflict deepened and Obama drew criticism for his indecision, The Times reported that Brennan’s C.I.A. undertook a billion-dollar covert campaign to arm and train rebels fighting against the Syrian leader, Bashar al-Assad. Mattathias Schwartz, New York Times, "A Spymaster Steps Out of the Shadows," 27 June 2018 Fear of Sunni jihadists and Iranian reprisals—as well as the lack of congressional authorization for lethal covert action—has frustrated ambitions for a U.S. campaign to bleed the Shiite empire through low-cost guerrillas. Reuel Marc Gerecht, WSJ, "Tehran Counts on a Divided West," 12 Dec. 2018 On Sunday, July 15, the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) indicted a Russian national, Maria Butina, 29, and later charged her with conspiring against the U.S. as a secret agent as part of a Russian covert influence campaign. Cindy Otis, Teen Vogue, "Accused Russian Spy Maria Butina Was Charged With Conspiring Against the United States as a Secret Agent," 18 July 2018 An indictment returned by Special Counsel Robert Mueller outlined a scheme under which individuals linked with the Russian government conducted a covert ad campaign through social media without disclosing the source of the money paying to run them. Michael Dresser, baltimoresun.com, "Google no longer accepting state, local election ads in Maryland as result of new disclosure law," 29 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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 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

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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Statistics for covert

Last Updated

7 Feb 2019

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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More from Merriam-Webster on covert

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with covert

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for covert

Spanish Central: Translation of covert

Nglish: Translation of covert for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of covert for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about covert

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