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

So far, the struggle has played out mostly through the diversion of oil tankers, drone attacks, covert support to militant groups and strikes on military bases said to be used by the Iranians. Ben Hubbard, New York Times, "Hezbollah Says Drones That Crashed in Beirut Suburbs Came From Israel," 25 Aug. 2019 The Department of Homeland Security has launched an internal investigation into a covert surveillance program that targeted U.S. citizens engaged in humanitarian work in Tijuana, according to a letter released Thursday. Gustavo Solis, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Feds investigating border surveillance program that targeted U.S. citizens," 8 Aug. 2019 Before last week’s the Helsinki summit, Syria was seen as a potential area of cooperation between the two countries, especially since the U.S. is no longer providing covert support to Syrian rebels opposed to Mr. Assad. Michael R. Gordon, WSJ, "Officials’ Stark Warnings on Russia Diverge From White House View," 22 July 2018 The Eastern Lions Brigade, a rebel group that received covert U.S. support until late last year, fears a similar scenario in the south. Washington Post, "Rebels in Syria’s south brace for onslaught, fear wider war," 19 Apr. 2018 Then there were the women, enslaved and free, who offered covert or open resistance in the form of guerrilla warfare. Brenda Wineapple, The New Republic, "Who wrote women out of Civil War history?," 16 Aug. 2019 Since human eyes are not, infra-red light is ideal for covert trickery. The Economist, "As face-recognition technology spreads, so do ideas for subverting it," 15 Aug. 2019 Countries in the Middle East have increasingly turned to websites such as Facebook, Twitter and Google's YouTube to peddle covert political influence online. NBC News, "Facebook says it dismantles covert influence campaign tied to Saudi government," 1 Aug. 2019 He was injured in the course of his last mission, and his covert team of operatives has been handed over to his ex-wife, Lieutenant Commander Natalie Taylor, for a mission to the banking planet Bayern Corporation. Andrew Liptak, The Verge, "10 new science fiction and fantasy novels to check out this August," 1 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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 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

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

5 Sep 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

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