Try Our Apps
Dictionary.com

follow Dictionary.com

The Best Internet Slang

clandestine

[klan-des-tin] /klænˈdɛs tɪn/
adjective
1.
characterized by, done in, or executed with secrecy or concealment, especially for purposes of subversion or deception; private or surreptitious:
Their clandestine meetings went undiscovered for two years.
Origin of clandestine
1560-1570
1560-70; < Latin clandestīnus, equivalent to *clande, *clamde, variant of clam secretly (with -de adv. particle) + -stīnus, probably after intestīnus internal; see intestine
Related forms
clandestinely, adverb
clandestineness, clandestinity, noun
unclandestinely, adverb
Synonyms
hidden, underhand, confidential, illicit.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for clandestine
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I should abhor these clandestine correspondences, were they not forced upon me.

    Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9) Samuel Richardson
  • Our return was clandestine for many of the members, and for me among the number.

    My Double Life Sarah Bernhardt
  • There, Mademoiselle, you have the reason for a clandestine union.

    The Suitors of Yvonne Raphael Sabatini
  • Did you not gather that this was not only a runaway match, but a clandestine one?

    The Lion's Skin Rafael Sabatini
  • What on earth possesses him to make a clandestine match of it?

    Chance Joseph Conrad
British Dictionary definitions for clandestine

clandestine

/klænˈdɛstɪn/
adjective
1.
secret and concealed, often for illicit reasons; furtive
Derived Forms
clandestinely, adverb
clandestineness, noun
Word Origin
C16: from Latin clandestīnus, from clam secretly; related to Latin celāre to hide
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for clandestine
adj.

1560s, from Latin clandestinus "secret, hidden," from clam "secretly," from adverbial derivative of base of celare "to hide" (see cell), perhaps on model of intestinus "internal." Related: Clandestinely. As a noun form, there is awkward clandestinity (clandestineness apparently being a dictionary word).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for clandestine

Many English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for clandestine

14
18
Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for clandestine