Synonyms & Antonyms of covert

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 screened or sequestered from view
  • a covert little hideaway that provides a lot of privacy

Synonyms for covert

Words Related to covert

Near Antonyms for covert



Synonyms of covert (Entry 2 of 2)

1 a place where a person goes to hide or to avoid others
  • set up a covert from which to watch wildlife without being detected

Synonyms for covert

Words Related to covert

2 a thick patch of shrubbery, small trees, or underbrush
  • the rabbit rushed to the safety of the nearest covert

Synonyms for covert

Words Related to covert

See the Dictionary Definition 

Frequently Asked Questions About covert

How is the word covert distinct from other similar adjectives?

Some common synonyms of covert are clandestine, furtive, secret, stealthy, surreptitious, and underhanded. While all these words mean "done without attracting observation," covert stresses the fact of not being open or declared.

covert intelligence operations

When could clandestine be used to replace covert?

The meanings of clandestine and covert largely overlap; however, clandestine implies secrecy usually for an evil, illicit, or unauthorized purpose and often emphasizes the fear of being discovered.

a clandestine meeting of conspirators

Where would furtive be a reasonable alternative to covert?

The words furtive and covert can be used in similar contexts, but furtive implies a sly or cautious stealthiness.

lovers exchanging furtive glances

When is secret a more appropriate choice than covert?

While in some cases nearly identical to covert, secret implies concealment on any grounds for any motive.

met at a secret location

When is it sensible to use stealthy instead of covert?

The words stealthy and covert are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, stealthy suggests taking pains to avoid being seen or heard especially in some misdoing.

the stealthy step of a burglar

In what contexts can surreptitious take the place of covert?

In some situations, the words surreptitious and covert are roughly equivalent. However, 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

When might underhanded be a better fit than covert?

While the synonyms underhanded and covert are close in meaning, underhanded stresses fraud or deception.

an underhanded trick

Learn More About covert

Time Traveler for covert

Time Traveler

The first known use of covert was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Thesaurus Entries Near covert

covers (up)



See More Nearby Entries 

Cite this Entry

“Covert.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Aug. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on covert

Nglish: Translation of covert for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of covert for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about covert


Test Your Vocabulary

Challenging Words You Should Know

  • hedgehog reading a book
  • Often used to describe “the march of time,” what does inexorable mean?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!