Definition of code word in English:

code word


  • A word used for secrecy or convenience instead of the usual name for something.

    ‘secret projects were identified by special code words’
    ‘various parties had been asked to bring 'cigars' to the meeting—a code word for guns’
    • ‘Undercover police responded to an ad offering Tina (a code word for crystal meth) for sale.’
    • ‘How does the military choose its code words?’
    • ‘Winston Churchill, who personally vetted many of the British military code words, ordered that they should be neither overly boastful, nor frivolous.’
    • ‘I was a canvasser, which is a code word for door-to-door moneygrubber.’
    • ‘"People of faith," as used by the event's organizers, is another duplicitous locution; it's a code word for only one specific and exclusionary brand of Christianity.’
    • ‘Teach your children not to ride with anyone they don't know or with anyone who doesn't know the code word.’
    • ‘Code words are shouted out to alert drug dealers and buyers to the presence of police in both sites.’
    • ‘Efficiency is usually a code word for sidestepping environmental rules.’
    • ‘As the man disembarked, we heard him shout the code word.’
    • ‘"Privacy" in 1776 was a code word for toilet functions.’
    • ‘Is this really a code word for some underground fascist movement?’
    • ‘They enjoy the planning, the feeling of being in a working group, the secret code words, and so on.’
    • ‘The system involves setting up a code word that is included in the email so that you can ensure it's legitimate.’
    • ‘For many, "progress" is merely a code word for mass privatization.’
    • ‘We have a little code word that she says to me if she spots one of her clients in a restaurant or at a party - not to let me know who it is, but so I can behave in a certain way.’