con·​ceal kən-ˈsēl How to pronounce conceal (audio)
concealed; concealing; conceals

transitive verb

: to prevent disclosure or recognition of
conceal the truth
She could barely conceal her anger.
: to place out of sight
concealed himself behind the door
The defendant is accused of attempting to conceal evidence.
concealable adjective
concealingly adverb
concealment noun
Choose the Right Synonym for conceal

hide, conceal, screen, secrete, bury mean to withhold or withdraw from sight.

hide may or may not suggest intent.

hide in the closet
a house hidden in the woods

conceal usually does imply intent and often specifically implies a refusal to divulge.

concealed the weapon

screen implies an interposing of something that prevents discovery.

a house screened by trees

secrete suggests a depositing in a place unknown to others.

secreted the amulet inside his shirt

bury implies covering up so as to hide completely.

buried the treasure

Examples of conceal in a Sentence

The sunglasses conceal her eyes. The controls are concealed behind a panel. The defendant is accused of attempting to conceal evidence. The editorial accused the government of concealing the truth. She could barely conceal her anger.
Recent Examples on the Web But concealing bad things during an election isn’t a crime, and none of the business records at issue were created until after the election. The Editors, National Review, 29 May 2024 Our best overall from Haus Labs By Lady Gaga works magic to conceal and brighten dark circles. Kate Watson, Peoplemag, 28 May 2024 Glass walls connect the indoor spaces to the backyard, which is concealed by tall shrubs and a wood fence. Sandra Barrera, Orange County Register, 28 May 2024 In 2022, for example, CBP found live centipedes concealed inside earphone cases. Colleen Shalby, Los Angeles Times, 21 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for conceal 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'conceal.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English concelen, borrowed from Anglo-French conceler, borrowed from Latin concēlāre, from con- con- + cēlāre "to hide, keep secret," probably derivative of an unattested lengthened-grade noun formed from the Indo-European verb base *ḱel- "cover, conceal," whence Latin occulere "to hide from view, keep secret" (from *ob-cel-), Old Irish ceilid "(s/he) hides," Welsh celaf "(I) hide," Germanic *hel-a- "hide" (whence Old English, Old Saxon & Old High German helan "to hide, keep secret")

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of conceal was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near conceal

Cite this Entry

“Conceal.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition


con·​ceal kən-ˈsē(ə)l How to pronounce conceal (audio)
: to keep secret
conceal a fact
: to hide from sight
carry a concealed weapon
concealable adjective
concealer noun

Legal Definition


transitive verb
: to prevent disclosure of or fail to disclose (as a provision in a contract) especially in violation of a duty to disclose
: to place out of sight

Note: A weapon need only be placed out of ordinary observation in order to be considered a concealed weapon.

: to prevent or hinder recognition, discovery, or recovery of
concealing stolen property
concealment noun

More from Merriam-Webster on conceal

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