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 Suddenly those are the new president's covert actions. CBS News, "Lawfare Institute's David Priess on the Presidential Daily Brief," 30 Sep. 2020 In at least six countries, Rwandan exiles have been harassed, assaulted or killed, as part of an apparent covert campaign targeting Mr. Kagame’s most nettlesome detractors. New York Times, "How the Hero of ‘Hotel Rwanda’ Fell Into a Vengeful Strongman’s Trap," 18 Sep. 2020 Anderson draws an implicit distinction between those CIA covert actions that ended in innocent blood (bad!) and those that were just dirty tricks or psy-ops (part of the game). Greg Barnhisel, The New Republic, "The Making of the “Good CIA”," 3 Sep. 2020 The proper response to them will be to ignore their claims of covert opposition. Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, "Column: Shaming? Absolution? Jail? How to treat those complicit in Trump’s wrongdoing," 30 Oct. 2020 Federal authorities unveiled criminal charges Wednesday against eight people who allegedly served as part of a covert Chinese repatriation squad that sought to forcibly return fugitives to the Beijing government. Kevin Johnson, USA TODAY, "Feds charge 8 in alleged secret Chinese repatriation squad hunting fugitives in U.S.," 28 Oct. 2020 While online chess play has taken off during the pandemic, so apparently has the use of covert chess calculator apps. Aaron Pressman, Fortune, "How tech’s most powerful women faced down the pandemic," 19 Oct. 2020 The emails have surfaced as U.S. officials have been warning that Russia, which backed Trump’s 2016 campaign through hacking of Democratic emails and a covert social media campaign, is interfering again this year. Eric Tucker, Anchorage Daily News, "Biden email episode illustrates risk to Trump from Giuliani," 17 Oct. 2020 Richard Murphy was going to pass a $150,000 … and the flash drive containing the new covert communication system … to Michael Zottoli. CBS News, "Russian spies living among us: Inside the FBI's "Operation Ghost Stories"," 13 Oct. 2020 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

17 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Covert.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/covert. Accessed 28 Nov. 2020.

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More Definitions for covert

covert

adjective
How to pronounce covert (audio) How to pronounce covert (audio) How to pronounce covert (audio)

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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Comments on covert

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