AskDefine | Define undercover

Dictionary Definition

undercover adj : conducted with or marked by hidden aims or methods; "clandestine intelligence operations"; "cloak-and-dagger activities behind enemy lines"; "hole-and-corner intrigue"; "secret missions"; "a secret agent"; "secret sales of arms"; "surreptitious mobilization of troops"; "an undercover investigation"; "underground resistance" [syn: clandestine, cloak-and-dagger, hole-and-corner(a), hugger-mugger, hush-hush, on the quiet(p), secret, surreptitious, underground]

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. Performed or happening in secret
  2. Employed or engaged in spying or secret investigation


Performed or happening in secret
Employed or engaged in spying or secret investigation
Translations to be checked


Related terms

Extensive Definition

Being undercover is disguising one's own identity or using an assumed identity for the purposes of gaining the trust of an individual or organization to learn secret information or to gain the trust of targeted individuals in order to gain information or evidence.
A separate technique is wearing plainclothes. This method is used by police and intelligence agencies. To wear plainclothes is to wear "ordinary clothes", instead of wearing a uniform typically associated with the occupation, in order to avoid detection or identification as a member of law enforcement. Plainclothes police officers typically carry normal police equipment and identification. Police detectives are often assigned to wear plainclothes instead of the uniform typically worn by their peers.
Many countries allow the use of undercover law enforcement officers solely or primarily for the enforcement of laws against recreational use of certain drugs.
undercover in German: Verdeckter Ermittler
undercover in Dutch: Undercover

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

above water, abstruse, armored, at anchor, back-door, backstairs, beclouded, behind the curtain, behind the scenes, behind the veil, blind, buried, cased, ceiled, clandestine, cloaked, close, clouded, coated, concealed, confidential, coped, covered, covert, covertly, cowled, curtained, doggo, eclipsed, encapsulated, encapsuled, encased, enveloped, enwrapped, feline, filmed, floored, furtive, hid, hidden, hidden out, hidlings, high and dry, hole-and-corner, hooded, housed, hugger-mugger, hush-hush, in a cloud, in a corner, in a fog, in a whisper, in ambush, in darkness, in eclipse, in harbor, in hiding, in hidlings, in purdah, in safety, in secret, in the background, in the clear, in the dark, in the wings, incommunicado, latent, loricate, loricated, lurking, mantled, masked, muffled, mysterious, nobody the wiser, obfuscated, obscure, obscured, occult, occulted, on, on tiptoe, out of danger, packaged, past danger, paved, private, privy, prowling, pussyfoot, pussyfooted, quiet, recondite, roofed-in, screened, scummed, secluded, secluse, secret, secretly, sequestered, sheathed, shelled, shielded, shifty, shrouded, skulking, slinking, slinky, sly, sneaking, sneaky, sotto voce, stealing, stealthy, sub rosa, surreptitious, swathed, tented, terra firma, under an eclipse, under cover, under house arrest, under the breath, under the rose, under wraps, under-the-counter, under-the-table, underground, underhand, underhanded, underneath, unknown, unobtrusive, veiled, waiting concealed, walled, walled-in, with bated breath, wrapped, wrapped in clouds
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