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as in:  a covert plan

covert intelligence gathering
  done in a secret or hidden way
 Mark word for later review on this computer
covert covertly coverts covertness
Strongly Associated with:   overt
Covert is often contrasted with overt (open and observable).

The meaning of covert might be easier to remember if you remember that it starts with cover as in under cover.
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  • covert intelligence gathering
  • covert funding for the rebels
  • ...last night, when Hanna, Sean, Mona, and a bunch of other kids were hanging out in Jim Freed’s cedar hot tub, covertly drinking Coronas, Sean had taken All-American Boy Scout up a notch.
    Sara Shepard  --  Pretty Little Liars
  • [looks at him with covert scorn.]
    Henrik Ibsen  --  Hedda Gabler

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  • He stopped before a covert.
    William Golding  --  Lord of the Flies
  • Many were shooting Jocelyn and Luke covert glances; a few were coming up to greet them, while others stood back looking curious.
    Cassandra Clare  --  City of Heavenly Fire
  • Finn, who cared so little about enforcing most of the prison rules, had been waging a somewhat covert war against Officer Scott and Cormorant.
    Piper Kerman  --  Orange Is the New Black
  • Over the next two weeks, Gabby became an expert in making a covert entry and exit, at least when it came to her house.
    Nicholas Sparks  --  The Choice
  • In fact he did what everyone else was doing — and still does in the Far North, with the covert permission of Governments: he spread strychnine so indiscriminately over an immense area that almost the entire population of foxes, wolverines and many lesser flesh-eaters was wiped out.
    Farley Mowat  --  Never Cry Wolf
  • Chronicler watched him covertly, finding it hard to believe that this man humming to himself and cutting sausage could be the same person who had stood behind the bar just minutes ago, dark-eyed and terrible.
    Patrick Rothfuss  --  The Name of the Wind

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  • "You’re like a little girl demanding answers to questions during a covert operation.
    Susan Ee  --  Angelfall
  • I was the cause of his joy and would be the cause of his destruction: a secret delivered to his enemies, a letter written in my own hand, a covert signal given by me, poison in his glass, a dagger in his ribs, a fall from a parapet.
    Gail Carson Levine  --  Ella Enchanted
  • In addition to their covert plan to take over American territory, they also brought a "silent invasion" of diseases.
    Joshua Davis  --  Spare Parts
  • Maybe because Drew shows up, knocks on the door, and asks her to be a guest at a well-chaperoned dinner on a Sunday evening, while I let her covertly hole up in my garage, late at night, with no adult supervision anywhere.
    Katja Millay  --  The Sea of Tranquility
  • Which, of course, only drove everyone’s already hormone-drunk brains crazier, and turned some of my cabinmates into an elite breed of covert stalkers.
    Alexandra Bracken  --  The Darkest Minds
  • I retrieved the list of questions from my handbag and covertly positioned the paper under a glass salt shaker.
    Becca Fitzpatrick  --  Hush, Hush
  • I glanced covertly at my hand.
    Diana Gabaldon  --  Outlander
  • Everybody was looking, covertly or openly, at Emily Brent.
    Agatha Christie  --  And Then There Were None
  • They ate loquats off the trees and drank cold Fanta from cans Adel covertly fetched from the kitchen.
    Khaled Hosseini  --  And The Mountains Echoed
  • The covert glances and quiet murmurs I usually evoke are nothing compared to the reaction brought on by the sight of my bizarre-looking prep team.
    Suzanne Collins  --  Mockingjay
  • As soon as they had passed the fence they all spread out evenly and quietly, without noise or talk, along the road and field leading to the Otradnoe covert.
    Leo Tolstoy  --  War and Peace
  • A very old covert brotherhood.
    Dan Brown  --  The Da Vinci Code
  • It seemed a rustling covert leading to enchanted glades.
    Edith Wharton  --  Ethan Frome
  • Jace was studying the menu, which gave Clary the opportunity to covertly study him.
    Cassandra Clare  --  City of Ashes
  • I wonder if those who hear this story will understand that my behaviour was not an act of insanity or a covert suicide attempt, but a simple necessity.
    Yann Martel  --  Life of Pi
  • All night they walked, and in the first dawn Kino searched the roadside for a covert to lie in during the day.
    John Steinbeck  --  The Pearl
  • Survival is a continuous negotiation, as you have to barter covertly for every service the government pretends to provide, but actually doesn’t.
    Barbara Kingsolver  --  The Poisonwood Bible
  • ’The boy’s right,’ remarked Fagin, looking covertly round, and knitting his shaggy eyebrows into a hard knot.
    Charles Dickens  --  Oliver Twist
  • The ranks opened covertly to avoid the corpse.
    Stephen Crane  --  The Red Badge of Courage
  • Jocelyn and I sent messages covertly to the faeries, the warlocks, and even to those age-old enemies of wolfkind, the vampires, warning them of Valentine’s plans and bidding them prepare for battle.
    Cassandra Clare  --  City of Bones
  • One of the most covert and feared fraternities ever to walk the earth had called on him for service.
    Dan Brown  --  Angels & Demons
  • Nately stared at her covertly from his over-stuffed yellow armchair, marveling at the bored, phlegmatic strength with which she accepted the mass rejection.
    Joseph Heller  --  Catch-22
  • We waited covertly in the shadows until there was a gap in the traffic and then clumped up the old wooden steps, worn smooth by years of traffic.
    Homer Hickam  --  October Sky
  • His father, remonstrative, but covertly proud of the excess, had paid his bills and brought him home.
    James Joyce  --  Dubliners
  • Please, a definition: A hibernation is a covert preparation for a more overt action.
    Ralph Ellison  --  Invisible Man
  • She had watched him as he’d talked—covertly, she’d thought, but she knew now that Jace noticed everything—watching the light glint off his pale hair, the quick movements of his graceful hands, the flex of the muscles in his arms as he’d gestured.
    Cassandra Clare  --  City of Lost Souls
  • Harry opened his copy of The Dream Oracle, watching Umbridge covertly.
    J.K. Rowling  --  Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
  • As the five of them sat to dinner, Albriech and Baldor discussed the various people they had seen making covert preparations.
    Christopher Paolini  --  Eldest
  • ’It’s a covert kinda thing ’
    Eoin Colfer  --  Artemis Fowl
  • He threw Hermione many covert glances, plainly fearing an angry outburst, but for all the notice she took of him he might not have been there.
    J.K. Rowling  --  Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
  • These women had their undying, if covert, affection.
    Toni Morrison  --  The Bluest Eye
  • He seemed to know, and he sometimes said in covert words, that some one had gleaned certain information in a certain district about a family which had disappeared.
    Victor Hugo  --  Les Miserables
  • Had he treated you as an especial favourite, you would have found enemies, declared or covert, all around you; as it is, the greater number would offer you sympathy if they dared.
    Charlotte Bronte  --  Jane Eyre
  • In vain Amy telegraphed the word ’talk’, tried to draw her out, and administered covert pokes with her foot.
    Louisa May Alcott  --  Little Women
  • Until now, their approach had been covert; they’d traveled only over the desert’s black squares of tar and volcanic rock to camouflage themselves from Redd’s lookouts.
    Frank Beddor  --  The Looking Glass Wars
  • As we sat at the table, Otto Fuchs and I kept stealing covert glances at each other.
    Willa Cather  --  My Antonia
  • He glanced covertly at the male guests nearest him.
    Frank Herbert  --  Dune
  • I was in two minds as to what to say and looked covertly at him.
    Kamala Markandaya  --  Nectar in a Sieve
  • While old One Eye, the wolf crouching in the covert, played his part, too, in the game, waiting for some strange freak of Chance, that might help him on the meat-trail which was his way of life.
    Jack London  --  White Fang
  • Her daughter, aged fifteen, was among the punters, and notified with a covert glance the cheatings of the poor people who tried to repair the cruelties of fate.
    Voltaire  --  Candide
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Associated words [difficulty]:   covert [2] , overt [3]
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Most commonly used in these subjects:   Public Policy & Politics, Human Behavior, Logic & Reasoning
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