a loose outer garment, as a cape or coat.
something that covers or conceals; disguise; pretense: He conducts his affairs under a cloak of secrecy.

verb (used with object)

to cover with or as if with a cloak: She arrived at the opera cloaked in green velvet.
to hide; conceal: The mission was cloaked in mystery.

Origin of cloak

1175–1225; Middle English cloke (< Old French) < Medieval Latin cloca, variant of clocca bell-shaped cape, bell; see clock1
Related formscloak·less, adjectiveun·der·cloak, nounwell-cloaked, adjective

Synonyms for cloak Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for cloak

Contemporary Examples of cloak

Historical Examples of cloak

  • She went to put on her hat and cloak, and presently they were in the street.

    Weighed and Wanting

    George MacDonald

  • When that was done she made a bundle of her cloak and shawl, and lay down in her clothes.

    Weighed and Wanting

    George MacDonald

  • The colonel threw his cloak about his shoulders, and hastened down to the carpenter's.

    Rico and Wiseli

    Johanna Spyri

  • With that I raised my cloak so as to let him see for himself, turning my body round before him.

    Green Mansions

    W. H. Hudson

  • Then I rose, and detaching the silver ornament from my cloak, presented it to him.

    Green Mansions

    W. H. Hudson

British Dictionary definitions for cloak



a wraplike outer garment fastened at the throat and falling straight from the shoulders
something that covers or conceals

verb (tr)

to cover with or as if with a cloak
to hide or disguise

Word Origin for cloak

C13: from Old French cloque, from Medieval Latin clocca cloak, bell; referring to the bell-like shape
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

Word Origin and History for cloak

late 13c., "long, loose outer garment," from Old North French cloque (Old French cloche, cloke) "travelling cloak," from Medieval Latin clocca "travelers' cape," literally "a bell," so called from the garment's bell-like shape (the word is thus a doublet of clock (n.1)). An article of everyday wear in England through 16c., somewhat revived 19c. as a fashion garment. Cloak-and-dagger (adj.) attested from 1848, said to be ultimately translating French de cape et d'épée, suggestive of stealthy violence and intrigue.

Other "cloak and dagger pieces," as Bouterwek tells us the Spaniards call their intriguing comedies, might be tried advantageously in the night, .... ["Levana; or the Doctrine of Education," English translation, London, 1848]

c.1500, from cloak (n.). Figuratively from 1540s. Related: Cloaked; cloaking.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper