Definition of undercover in US English:

undercover

adjective

  • (of a person or their activities) involved in or involving secret work within a community or organization, especially for the purposes of police investigation or espionage.

    ‘an undercover police operation’
    • ‘She pleaded guilty to offering to supply heroin to undercover police officers.’
    • ‘An undercover police operation has snared eight dealers who provided a class A drugs on wheels delivery service.’
    • ‘In Ireland, the new arrivals were soon being tailed by police and undercover agents.’
    • ‘In March 1999, police began an undercover surveillance operation on the prison officer.’
    • ‘Metro police has 24 undercover officers who are constantly on the look out for illegal activity.’
    • ‘The charges arise out of a police undercover operation in the latter part of 1998.’
    • ‘His scam ran for three years, ending in September 2001, after a sting conducted by undercover police.’
    • ‘During the trial, two undercover police officers gave evidence from behind a screen to protect their identities.’
    • ‘Two drug dealers were jailed for a total of more than seven years after an undercover police operation led to their arrests.’
    • ‘Woodall told the jury at the trial she believed Douglas was an undercover police officer from Greater Manchester.’
    • ‘I did not go around believing that I was an undercover policeman or an Interpol agent.’
    • ‘How the undercover police officers managed to make their way inside was not revealed.’
    • ‘Two cases emphasise the need for the use of cautions in connection with police undercover operations.’
    • ‘A heroin addict caught supplying drugs to police in an undercover investigation has been jailed for four years.’
    • ‘The three men were caught after an undercover surveillance operation.’
    • ‘This is the haul of alcohol seized by police in an undercover operation targeting young drinkers.’
    • ‘During the day, he was approached at different times by three undercover police officers and each time he sold four pills to each of them.’
    • ‘Townend said he believed they were undercover police officers.’
    • ‘An undercover police officer had recorded conversations with both men.’
    • ‘At first he suspected I was an undercover police officer and they were being set up.’
    covert, secret, clandestine, private, confidential, conspiratorial, underground, surreptitious, furtive, cloak-and-dagger, hole-and-corner, hugger-mugger, back-alley, backstair, stealthy, closet
    View synonyms

adverb

  • As an undercover agent.

    ‘a special unit of the police that operates undercover’
    • ‘I'm a detective working undercover with three other detectives and Noah here.’
    • ‘A stockbroker turned writer, he actually went undercover inside an authentic crime family.’
    • ‘Actually, Yan is kicked out so he can be sent undercover to infiltrate the triad crime world.’
    • ‘The claims are made by a former British soldier who worked undercover within the IRA.’
    • ‘The legislation to allow us to send children undercover didn't include the selling of alcohol until December.’
    • ‘I'm going to stay undercover for the rest of my life.’
    • ‘He contacted the TUC after the Bradford riots and spent three years working undercover.’
    • ‘On my return to the UK I worked undercover against the Iranian intelligence service.’
    • ‘Police went undercover at a Catholic mass to root out yobs who attacked the parish priest.’
    • ‘The document establishes that Plame has worked undercover within the past five years.’
    • ‘She said two police officers went undercover for three weeks in the town at the end of July, calling themselves Matt and Anne.’
    covert, secret, clandestine, private, confidential, conspiratorial, underground, surreptitious, furtive, cloak-and-dagger, hole-and-corner, hugger-mugger, back-alley, backstair, stealthy, closet
    View synonyms

Pronunciation

undercover

/ˌəndərˈkəvər//ˌəndərˈkəvər/