a euphemistic or politically acceptable catchword or phrase used instead of a blunter or less acceptable term: The official report said the diplomats had a “frank and serious discussion”—code words for “angry argument.”
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024
How to use code word in a sentence
To get your feet wet in an industry that feels intimidatingly laden with acronyms, code words, and which requires advanced skillsets from even entry-level employees — it’s important to begin with important certifications such as the CompTIA.Train for your CompTIA certification exams with this affordable bundle | Quinn Gawronski | June 26, 2021 | Popular-Science
The trappings of spycraft we see in the movies—the tiny cameras, the furtive code words uttered into pay phones, the trench-coated figures darting about in the shadows—are now so familiar that they come across as anything but secretive.Benedict Cumberbatch Is a Spy With Soul in The Courier—But He's Not the Only Reason to Watch | Stephanie Zacharek | April 16, 2021 | Time
Republicans such as Portman use calls for “unity” as a code word for Democratic concessions.Rob Portman has done more damage to America than Marjorie Taylor Greene | Max Boot | February 1, 2021 | Washington Post
So if you know a few hashtags and a few code words, you can find them, or people at least that say … you can’t vouch for all of them.Mariana van Zeller’s Take on Pimps and How to End the Drug War | Eugene Robinson | January 13, 2021 | Ozy
In June, Facebook banned a “violent network” of boogaloo groups, but other groups remain, organizing under code words related to the boogaloo movement.Militia tied to plot to kidnap Gov. Whitmer was removed from Facebook in boogaloo purge | Taylor Hatmaker | October 8, 2020 | TechCrunch
The only way to get a glass was to order it using the secret code word, “tanqueta,” which translates as “small tank.”
The message contained a line that jumped out, given that “wedding” is an al Qaeda code word for an attack dating back to 9/11.NSA Surveillance Program Failed to Invade Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s Privacy | Michael Daly | June 12, 2013 | THE DAILY BEAST
The rest left for France or “abroad,” he says, a Tunisian Jewry code word to avoid association with Israel.
Peter perceived Romney's call for "stability" as code word for creeping annexation.
She came up with a code word―“peace”―for her teacher if the abuse happened again, and she called the teacher and used the word.Casandra Kennedy Recants Rape Charge Against Her Father, Freed After 9 Years | Winston Ross | April 10, 2012 | THE DAILY BEAST
We will give you the code word, and we ask nothing in return but that you listen for sixty seconds.Meeting of the Board | Alan Edward Nourse
A code word in his patter advertised to his confederates exactly whereabouts upon your person the treasure was carried.Sundry Accounts | Irvin S. Cobb
"Stat" means emergency, that's just a code word that has been used for years in medical terms.Warren Commission (6 of 26): Hearings Vol. VI (of 15) | The President's Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy
Dave glanced at the old man as he spoke the secret code word, but there was not so much as a flicker of the eyelids.Dave Dawson with the R.A.F | R. Sidney Bowen
Snap had taken the code-word sheet, that time we sealed the purser in the cage.
British Dictionary definitions for codeword
(esp in military use) a word used to identify a classified plan, operation, etc: Also: codename
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