sleeper cell

noun

Definition of sleeper cell

: a terrorist cell whose members work under cover in an area until sent into action

Examples of sleeper cell in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Earlier in the movie, Talos/Fury mentioned in passing a Kree sleeper cell, invoking the name of the Skrulls’ mortal enemies, so there could be a new Kree-Skrull War on the horizon. Brian Truitt, USA TODAY, "Spoilers! How those 'Spider-Man: Far From Home' end-credit scenes set up Marvel's future," 3 July 2019 And Shiite militia groups like Baghdad Katib Hezbollah (BKH) have been in Iraq for years, acting essentially as sleeper cells. NBC News, "U.S. commander says American forces face 'imminent' threat from Iran," 6 June 2019 But activists and residents say IS still has sleeper cells in Syria and Iraq and is laying the groundwork for an insurgency. Zeina Karam, The Seattle Times, "Fierce battles near final IS foothold in eastern Syria," 12 Feb. 2019 What would happen if resistant sleeper cells had emerged in Obama's White House? Fox News, "Hannity: Anonymous op-ed writer needs to come forward," 6 Sep. 2018 Before retreating from its urban strongholds, Islamic State decentralized its command structure, set up sleeper cells, and dug tunnels in the vast desert that spans the two countries. Nancy A. Youssef, WSJ, "ISIS Remnants Fight On, Despite U.S. Campaign," 9 July 2018 The remaining militants have gone underground, putting the onus on intelligence agencies to track down sleeper cells and prevent attacks. Isabel Coles And, WSJ, "Iraq Says It Captured Key Leaders of Islamic State," 10 May 2018 The first is the low-probability but high-impact chance that Putin is hiding money here in the financial equivalent of sleeper cells, ready to slip out and buy influence when a crisis comes. Aaron Gilbreath, Longreads, "England Is a Giant Russian Money Washing Machine," 1 June 2018 Although Iraqi forces are still engaged in mopping-up operations to rid pockets of the country of sleeper cells, terrorist attacks and civilian deaths have dropped sharply since the government declared victory over the Islamic State in December. Margaret Coker And Falih Hassan, New York Times, "These Iraqi Farmers Said No to ISIS. When Night Came They Paid the Price.," 2 May 2018

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

1968, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

17 Jul 2019

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The first known use of sleeper cell was in 1968

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