adverb or adjective
in·​cog·​ni·​to | \ ˌin-ˌkäg-ˈnē-(ˌ)tō How to pronounce incognito (audio) also in-ˈkäg-nə-ˌtō \

Definition of incognito

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: with one's identity concealed


plural incognitos

Definition of incognito (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : one appearing or living incognito
2 : the state or assumed identity of one living or traveling incognito or incognita

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Synonyms & Antonyms for incognito

Synonyms: Adverb or adjective

Antonyms: Adverb or adjective

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Did You Know?

Adverb or adjective

The ancient Greeks and Romans knew that there were times when you didn't want to be recognized. For example, a myth tells how Zeus and Hermes visited a village incognito and asked for lodging. The apparently penniless travelers were turned away from every household except that of a poor elderly couple named Baucis and Philemon, who provided a room and a feast despite their own poverty. The Romans had a word that described someone or something unknown (like the gods in the tale): incognitus, a term that is the ancestor of our modern incognito.

Examples of incognito in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb or adjective So, without a Brazil jersey, my sister-in-law was incognito, until the game stared. Ann Killion,, "World Cup double-bill: Mexico ousted by Brazil, but the best game came later," 2 July 2018 Around her chest, a Gucci fanny pack gave her look that subtle edge, while her trucker hat—from the Dogfish Head brewery!—and large sunglasses made the case for going incognito. Vogue, "Katie Holmes and Jamie Foxx Raise the Bar on Off-Duty Couple Style," 16 Apr. 2019 So, without a Brazil jersey, my sister-in-law was incognito, until the game stared. Ann Killion,, "World Cup double-bill: Mexico ousted by Brazil, but the best game came later," 2 July 2018 Meanwhile, Rufus and Wyatt go incognito at a nearby plantation to find the sleeper and destroy the Confederate version of Gray’s Sports Almanac. Rachel Kaufman, Smithsonian, "Pilot, Thinker, Soldier, Spy: The Epic “Timeless” Season Finale Twofer," 13 May 2018 The entire visa appointment apparently only took ten minutes, and Markle seemingly tried to go incognito by wearing sunglasses and a White Sox cap the entire time. Lisa Ryan, The Cut, "Why Meghan Markle Went Incognito in Chicago This Week," 12 Apr. 2018 So bad was secession fervor by then that Lincoln traveled incognito, Crofts writes, lest assassins kill him on the way. Avi Selk, Washington Post, "Actually, John Kelly, the failed ‘compromise’ to avoid Civil War would have enshrined slavery," 31 Oct. 2017 But after months of remaining relatively incognito, as his supporters continue to push for the arrest of the other men involved in his attack, Harris became one of the men charged with a crime. Trymaine Lee, NBC News, "Man Attacked in Charlottesville Charged With Assault in Unexpected Turn," 10 Oct. 2017 Go incognito Every major web browser — Chrome, Edge, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari, and Opera — has private, or incognito, browsing. Kim Komando, USA TODAY, "How to stop ads from following you online," 6 Oct. 2017 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun That includes our bedrooms and our incognito web browsers. Molly Longman,, "Yes, Coronavirus Porn Is A Thing," 13 Mar. 2020 Tap or click here to learn about Chrome’s incognito mode. Kim Komando, USA TODAY, "5 ways to limit your phone’s location tracking," 30 Jan. 2020 In the same holistic vein, the incognito search brought up an ad for a book on herbal antibiotics and four people were shown ads for essential oils. Olivia Goldhill, Quartz, "Amazon is selling coronavirus misinformation," 12 Mar. 2020 Outside of work, Joe keeps a low profile with his still-effective incognito hat. Carly Mallenbaum, USA TODAY, "'You' Season 2: Penn Badgley on the burden of playing a charming creep on Netflix," 24 Dec. 2019 Celine Dion took couture by storm back in July with her Titanic necklace, and this season Paris has Cardi B. The Hustlers star reigned over Fashion Week in her most iconic look yet, posing under the Eiffel Tower incognito. Rhonda Richford, The Hollywood Reporter, "Paris Fashion Week: Cardi B Goes Undercover With Floral Face Mask," 29 Sep. 2019 Lively attempted to stay incognito in a bobble hat and gingham scarf, while her husband hid under a baseball cap. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds Dress for Fall in First Appearance After Welcoming Their Third Child," 30 Oct. 2019 He'd been introduced to the family, somewhat incognito, by his girlfriend at the time — now his wife of more than 20 years — who was already tutoring the boy in English. Patrick Brzeski, The Hollywood Reporter, "Making of 'Parasite': How Bong Joon Ho's Real Life Inspired a Plot-Twisty Tale of Rich vs. Poor," 8 Nov. 2019 Users who go incognito won’t get the same personalized experience they would otherwise based on what Google knows about them. NBC News, "Google just upped its privacy game, will allow users to delete YouTube history, search privately in Maps," 2 Oct. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'incognito.' 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 incognito

Adverb or adjective

1635, in the meaning defined above


1638, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for incognito

Adverb or adjective

Italian, from Latin incognitus unknown, from in- + cognitus, past participle of cognoscere to know — more at cognition

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Time Traveler for incognito

Time Traveler

The first known use of incognito was in 1635

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Cite this Entry

“Incognito.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for incognito


How to pronounce incognito (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of incognito

: with your true identity kept secret (as by using a different name or a disguise)


adverb or adjective
in·​cog·​ni·​to | \ ˌin-ˌkäg-ˈnē-tō How to pronounce incognito (audio) , in-ˈkäg-nə-ˌtō \

Kids Definition of incognito

: with someone's identity kept secret He's traveling incognito.

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More from Merriam-Webster on incognito

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for incognito

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with incognito

Spanish Central: Translation of incognito

Nglish: Translation of incognito for Spanish Speakers

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