covert

Covert means secret or hidden. Soldiers might take part in a covert mission to infiltrate an enemy camp — and you might take part in a covert mission to steal your brother's leftover Halloween candy.

Covert is the opposite of overt, which means obvious, or in full view. Covert things are hidden, private, or stealthy. It comes from the Old French covert, or "covered." A covert bag of chips you've snuck into the movie theater might literally be covered, hidden under your coat, while a covert plan to throw your dad a surprise party is just a secret.

Definitions of covert
  1. adjective
    secret or hidden; not openly practiced or engaged in or shown or avowed
    covert actions by the CIA”
    covert funding for the rebels”
    Synonyms:
    implicit, inexplicit
    implied though not directly expressed; inherent in the nature of something
    backstair, backstairs, furtive
    secret and sly or sordid
    black
    (of intelligence operations) deliberately misleading
    clandestine, cloak-and-dagger, hole-and-corner, hugger-mugger, hush-hush, secret, surreptitious, undercover, underground
    conducted with or marked by hidden aims or methods
    secret
    indulging only covertly
    collusive, conniving
    acting together in secret toward a fraudulent or illegal end
    cloaked, disguised, masked
    having its true character concealed with the intent of misleading
    secret
    communicated covertly
    behind-the-scenes, sub-rosa, under-the-table
    designed and carried out secretly or confidentially
    subterranean, subterraneous, ulterior
    lying beyond what is openly revealed or avowed (especially being kept in the background or deliberately concealed)
    under wraps
    kept secret
    undisclosed, unrevealed
    not made known
    concealed
    hidden on any grounds for any motive
    invisible, unseeable
    impossible or nearly impossible to see; imperceptible by the eye
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    Antonyms:
    open, overt
    open and observable; not secret or hidden
    explicit, expressed
    precisely and clearly expressed or readily observable; leaving nothing to implication
    bald, barefaced
    with no effort to conceal
    naked, raw
    devoid of elaboration or diminution or concealment; bare and pure
    undisguised
    plain to see
    visible
    obvious to the eye
    public
    not private; open to or concerning the people as a whole
    unconcealed
    not concealed or hidden
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  2. noun
    a covering that serves to conceal or shelter something
    “the brush provided a covert for game”
    synonyms: concealment, cover, screen
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    types:
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    blind
    a hiding place sometimes used by hunters (especially duck hunters)
    camouflage
    device or stratagem for concealment or deceit
    shoji
    a translucent screen made of a wooden frame covered with rice paper
    stalking-horse
    screen consisting of a figure of a horse behind which a hunter hides while stalking game
    type of:
    covering
    an artifact that covers something else (usually to protect or shelter or conceal it)
  3. adjective
    (of a wife) being under the protection of her husband
    “a woman covert
    Synonyms:
    protected
    kept safe or defended from danger or injury or loss
  4. noun
    a flock of coots
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    type of:
    flock
    a group of birds
Word Family