Definition of covert in English:

covert

adjective

  • 1Not openly acknowledged or displayed.

    ‘covert operations against the dictatorship’
    • ‘- US Federal Law prohibits the unauthorised disclosure of a covert agent's name.’
    • ‘Police have been monitoring the site and using covert surveillance to trap the troublemakers.’
    • ‘Police are replacing the battering ram with the more covert ways of catching the dealers.’
    • ‘This seems to have been the thinking behind the reported covert operation to eliminate the leader in the mid-1990s.’
    • ‘Besides relying on information from residents, they also carry out covert and overt patrols.’
    • ‘Critics of the war have called for more covert action as an alternative to bombing.’
    • ‘Because the system is wholly passive, it's well suited to covert surveillance.’
    • ‘It's all about covert operations and leaving as little evidence and traces as possible.’
    • ‘But a covert Russian secret police agent discovers them and the chase is on.’
    • ‘During this period a few Swedish divers had carried out covert night dives on the wrecks.’
    • ‘You proceed with the covert actions, which I think are probably under way.’
    • ‘Many of our mechanisms to develop and deliver rights protection contain covert begging processes.’
    • ‘It is quite appropriate that the bill states what it does to govern the use of covert devices by the authorities.’
    • ‘It is people like you that the secret services choose for their most dangerous covert operations.’
    • ‘It may include dramatic strikes visible on TV, and covert operations, secret even in success.’
    • ‘Clearly, this bill provides the victims of covert filming with an effective response.’
    • ‘First, environmental justifications for trade restrictions are sometimes little more than covert protectionism.’
    • ‘Similarly, the law cannot be used to address the growing problem of covert filming.’
    • ‘As a covert operative she made trips abroad to exploit her expertise in unconventional weapons.’
    • ‘The boat was sunk by a covert operations team to discourage other illegal aliens from making the trip.’
    secret, furtive, clandestine, surreptitious, stealthy, cloak-and-dagger, hole-and-corner, hole-in-the-corner, closet, behind-the-scenes, backstairs, back-alley, under-the-table, hugger-mugger, concealed, hidden, private
    View synonyms
  • 2Law
    (of a woman) married and under the authority and protection of her husband.

noun

  • 1A thicket in which game can hide.

    • ‘So hunts moved into direct land management, buying and planting small pieces of rough scrub as coverts.’
    • ‘Mounted hunters and foot followers, accompanied by novice hounds and men wielding whips and spades, surround fox coverts at dawn.’
    • ‘I couldn't help but admire the beautifully laid out game crops and newly-planted coverts.’
    • ‘He whirred from his seat like a surprised partridge beaten from a covert.’
    • ‘The only man to poach another's foxes was one whose own coverts were bare, never a poor man looking for his dinner.’
    • ‘He lieth under the shady trees, in the covert of the reed, and fens.’
    • ‘Knowing he was in there we called up the beaters and they went through the covert from end to end.’
    • ‘Landowners who did not hunt were still expected to plant and maintain gorse coverts.’
    • ‘He can capably hunt bobwhite quail and pheasants in the brushy coverts.’
    • ‘In the early nineteenth-century the area was described as a ‘first-rate covert for game and a favourable resort of sportsmen.’’
    undergrowth, vegetation, shrubbery, greenery, ground cover, underwood, copsewood, brushwood, brush, scrub, underscrub
    View synonyms
  • 2Ornithology
    Any of the feathers covering the bases of the main flight or tail feathers of a bird.

    • ‘Its belly and underwing coverts were dark, but his tail was red.’
    • ‘The bird was black above with a white eyebrow and limited white on the wing coverts.’
    • ‘The flight feathers are black, and the upper tail coverts and rump area are cobalt blue.’
    • ‘The name of these birds comes from the vivid red coloring of the wing coverts.’
    • ‘Females also have red wing coverts but to a lesser extent.’
    • ‘Males are mostly green with red sides to the body and red underwing coverts, with some blue in the wings and tail.’
    plume, quill
    View synonyms

Origin

Middle English (in the general senses ‘covered’ and ‘a cover’): from Old French, ‘covered’, past participle of covrir (see cover).

Pronunciation