undercover

[ uhn-der-kuhv-er, uhn-der-kuhv- ]
/ ˌʌn dərˈkʌv ər, ˈʌn dərˌkʌv- /

adjective

working or done out of public sight; secret: an undercover investigation.
engaged in spying or securing confidential information: an undercover agent.

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Origin of undercover

First recorded in 1850–55; under- + cover
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

British Dictionary definitions for undercover

undercover
/ (ˌʌndəˈkʌvə) /

adjective

done or acting in secretundercover operations
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

Idioms and Phrases with undercover

under cover

1

Protected by a shelter, as in It began to pour but fortunately we were under cover. [c. 1400]

2

under cover of. Also, under the cover of. Hidden or protected by, as in They sneaked out under cover of darkness, or, as it was put in a sermon in 1751: “Presumption which loves to conceal itself under the cover of humility” (John Jortin, Sermons on Different Subjects).

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.