[uhn-der-kuhv-er, uhn-der-kuhv-]
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  1. working or done out of public sight; secret: an undercover investigation.
  2. engaged in spying or securing confidential information: an undercover agent.

Origin of undercover

First recorded in 1850–55; under- + cover

Synonyms for undercover

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1. concealed, covert, clandestine, hidden.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for undercover


  1. 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

Word Origin and History for undercover

1854, "sheltered," from under + cover (n.). Sense of "operating secretly" attested from 1920.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper