9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[klan-des-tin] /klænˈdɛs tɪn/
characterized by, done in, or executed with secrecy or concealment, especially for purposes of subversion or deception; private or surreptitious:
Their clandestine meetings went undiscovered for two years.
Origin of clandestine
1560-70; < Latin clandestīnus, equivalent to *clande, *clamde, variant of clam secretly (with -de adv. particle) + -stīnus, probably after intestīnus internal; see intestine
Related forms
clandestinely, adverb
clandestineness, clandestinity, noun
unclandestinely, adverb
hidden, underhand, confidential, illicit. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for clandestine
  • Bribery, betting and betrayal are the order of the day, and secret negotiations and clandestine plots abound.
  • While the relationship was private, it can hardly be called furtive or clandestine.
  • Biological weapons are not only more potent than chemical weapons but they are easier to produce in small, clandestine facilities.
  • And a handful of the youngest ones are scouts for the clandestine betting houses in the city center.
  • They've spent billions and billions over the decades, in their clandestine effort.
  • All signs suggest that this clandestine traffic is increasing.
  • Given the clandestine nature of the business, such estimates can be no more than educated guesses.
  • Potential explanations range from the mechanical to the clandestine.
  • The secretive sub is rumored to have gone on other clandestine missions since its retooling.
  • Given the conditions, there is nothing surprising about the persistence of a clandestine drug trade in the region.
British Dictionary definitions for clandestine


secret and concealed, often for illicit reasons; furtive
Derived Forms
clandestinely, adverb
clandestineness, noun
Word Origin
C16: from Latin clandestīnus, from clam secretly; related to Latin celāre to hide
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
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Word Origin and History for clandestine

1560s, from Latin clandestinus "secret, hidden," from clam "secretly," from adverbial derivative of base of celare "to hide" (see cell), perhaps on model of intestinus "internal." Related: Clandestinely. As a noun form, there is awkward clandestinity (clandestineness apparently being a dictionary word).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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