covert

adjective
co·​vert | \ ˈkō-(ˌ)vərt How to pronounce covert (audio) , kō-ˈvərt; 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
2 : covered over : sheltered covert places in the woods

covert

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

Ten residents slipped away from their retirement community one Sunday afternoon for a covert meeting in a grocery store cafe. Kaiser Health News, oregonlive.com, "Is rational suicide among elderly a sign of self-determination or depression?," 6 July 2019 This connection is why people are willing to camp out at Franklin Barbecue in Austin, or sit on the street outside of Smokin’ Warehouse, a covert barbecue window in San Francisco’s Bayview neighborhood that’s only open a few hours during the week. SFChronicle.com, "Matt Horn is the future of Bay Area barbecue," 2 July 2019 The president should not be shy about saying so, or about turning all levers of government power (political, diplomatic, legal, and covert, as well as military and financial) in that direction. Andrew C. Mccarthy, National Review, "For Regime Change in Iran," 29 June 2019 His term was marked by two wars with Hamas in Gaza and a covert air campaign in Syria against Iranian arms shipments to Hezbollah guerrillas in Lebanon. Aron Heller, The Seattle Times, "Israeli ex-army chief launches campaign to replace Netanyahu," 29 Jan. 2019 That made listening to, let alone playing, jazz a strictly covert affair. George Varga, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Pianist Amina Figarova brings jazz from Azerbaijan, by way of Rotterdam, Boston and New York," 23 June 2019 A decade ago, facing the same dilemma about Natanz that Mr. Trump faces now, the Obama administration, along with Israel, stepped up a covert operation, known as Olympic Games. David E. Sanger, New York Times, "Facing Intensifying Confrontation With Iran, Trump Has Few Appealing Options," 22 June 2019 This was not an authorization for war; the assumption was that regime change would be pursued mostly through covert operations and diplomatic pressure. Hal Brands, National Review, "Lessons from the Iraq War," 20 June 2019 The best way to describe them is a covert, deniable first-strike weapon. Fox News, "'Highly likely Iran is responsible' for oil tanker attack in Gulf of Oman, US defense official says," 13 June 2019

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

11 Jul 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 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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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

Comments on covert

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