un·​der·​cov·​er | \ ˌən-dər-ˈkə-vər How to pronounce undercover (audio) \

Definition of undercover

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: acting or executed in secret specifically : employed or engaged in spying or secret investigation an undercover agent



Definition of undercover (Entry 2 of 2)

: a person engaged in undercover activity : spy

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Other Words from undercover


undercover adverb

Examples of undercover in a Sentence

Adjective an undercover operation to infiltrate the terrorist organization for months she's been an undercover agent pretending to be a drug dealer Noun within the city was a well-organized fifth column, and these undercovers would make themselves known as soon as the invading forces breached the city limits
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The identity of the country has not been disclosed, but soon after that first contact the engineer allegedly began corresponding with an undercover FBI agent who Toebbe believed to be a representative of the foreign government. Kevin Johnson, USA TODAY, 13 Oct. 2021 The complaint said Jonathan Toebbe wrote to the undercover FBI agent about leaving on short notice. Luke Barr, ABC News, 12 Oct. 2021 Court documents claim the Navy engineer agreed to sell restricted data to the undercover agent for tens of thousands of dollars in cryptocurrency. Elizabeth Campbell, Kathryn Watson, CBS News, 12 Oct. 2021 In June, the FBI says, the undercover agent sent $10,000 in cryptocurrency to Toebbe, describing it as a sign of good faith and trust. Fox News, 11 Oct. 2021 After the undercover agent retrieved the sandwich, Toebbe was sent $20,000. BostonGlobe.com, 11 Oct. 2021 After the undercover agent retrieved the sandwich, Toebbe was sent $20,000, the documents say. Compiled Democrat-gazette Staff From Wire Reports, Arkansas Online, 11 Oct. 2021 In June, the FBI says, the undercover agent sent $10,000 in cryptocurrency to Toebbe, describing it as a sign of good faith and trust. Eric Tucker, Anchorage Daily News, 10 Oct. 2021 After the undercover agent retrieved the sandwich, Mr. Toebbe was sent $20,000. New York Times, 10 Oct. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun In 2016, Kun Shan Chun, an FBI employee, pleaded guilty to operating undercover for China over the course of several years, accepting cash, using prostitutes, and living in exuberant accommodations overseas. Fox News, 22 Apr. 2020 But unlike seismic shifts of the past — ingrained into the American consciousness through a single catastrophic event — the novel coronavirus crept in undercover, one mind-boggling announcement at a time. Mandy Mclaren, The Courier-Journal, 20 Mar. 2020 This story has been corrected to show that the affidavit by FBI agent Tripp Godbee describes the actions of another agent working undercover to monitor online groups and were not the actions of Godbee. Washington Post, 9 Dec. 2019 Erica Meier, for one, leads a watchdog group called Animal Outlook, which gets the undercover, boots-on-the-ground activists into dairy farms, slaughterhouses, egg barns, and feedlots to collect images and video footage of how animals are treated. Chase Purdy, Quartz, 13 Feb. 2020 The show supplied a group of volunteers willing to go in undercover, and Horton was able to play a role in the selection of the final seven. Carol Robinson | Crobinson@al.com, al, 19 Nov. 2019 On Sunday, the actress officially joins the cast of the ABC drama as Nyla Harper, a former undercover detective turned John Nolan’s (Nathan Fillion) new training officer. Maureen Lee Lenker, EW.com, 16 Oct. 2019 Farmer, who lives in Franklin, was nabbed as part of a two-day undercover human trafficking operation in Rutherford County. Carol Robinson | Crobinson@al.com, al, 20 Nov. 2019 Thus the use of undercovers, to go in ahead and identify the staff. Michael Wilson, New York Times, 27 June 2019

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


1920, in the meaning defined above


1962, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for undercover

Time Traveler

The first known use of undercover was in 1920

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Dictionary Entries Near undercover



undercover man

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Statistics for undercover

Last Updated

17 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Undercover.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/undercover. Accessed 28 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for undercover



English Language Learners Definition of undercover

: done or working in a secret way in order to catch criminals or collect information

More from Merriam-Webster on undercover

Nglish: Translation of undercover for Spanish Speakers


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