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 As head of Iran's Quds Force, Soleimani directed covert operations across the Middle East. Russ Read, Washington Examiner, "While Iranian students rip down posters of Soleimani, Syria awards him a posthumous medal of honor," 14 Jan. 2020 An incomplete list includes a backdoor on hundreds of thousands of BLU devices, a powerful backdoor and rootkit also on BLU devices, and covert downloaders on 26 different phone models from various manufacturers. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "US Government-funded Android phones come preinstalled with unremovable malware," 9 Jan. 2020 Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, ordered a direct and proportional response to the Suleimani killing, not the kind of covert action through proxy forces that Tehran has traditionally employed. Julian E. Barnes, New York Times, "Pressed for Details on Suleimani Strike, Trump Administration Gives Few," 7 Jan. 2020 Leo’s reaction to seeing my arrival was akin to that of a hostage being rescued by a covert SEAL team after months in captivity. Beth Spotswood, SFChronicle.com, "Day care decision leaves trail of tears from child, parents," 7 Jan. 2020 Qassim Suleimani—a longtime confidant of the Islamic Republic’s supreme leader, the organizer of covert military action across the Middle East, and a main architect of Iranian foreign policy. Adam Weinstein, The New Republic, "The Pinnacle of Trump’s Foreign Policy Stupidity," 3 Jan. 2020 Russia in particular has been identified as the source of covert meddling in elections, and increasing numbers of Russian chatbots have been identified pushing Putin’s agenda on social media around the world. David Hambling, Popular Mechanics, "The Cyberwar Decade: How an Invisible Battlefield Came of Age in the 2010s," 23 Dec. 2019 Nevada is challenging the Energy Department’s covert shipment of the highly radioactive material from South Carolina last year. USA TODAY, "Lego impeachment, emotional support coyote, mumbo sauce: News from around our 50 states," 21 Dec. 2019 This includes special forces fighting covert wars in Libya, Somalia, Tunisia, and Niger, with little to no accountability to the US Congress or the broader American public. Joe Penney, Quartz Africa, "Russia’s Africa summit is the latest step in its resurgence as a global power on the continent," 11 Oct. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun 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 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

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

24 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Covert.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/covertness. Accessed 28 January 2020.

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More Definitions for covert

covert

adjective
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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