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[kuh n-seel] /kənˈsil/
verb (used with object)
to hide; withdraw or remove from observation; cover or keep from sight:
He concealed the gun under his coat.
to keep secret; to prevent or avoid disclosing or divulging:
to conceal one's identity by using a false name.
Origin of conceal
1275-1325; Middle English conselen, concelen < Anglo-French conceler < Latin concēlāre, equivalent to con- con- + cēlāre to hide (akin to hull1, Greek koleón scabbard (see Coleoptera); cf. occult)
Related forms
concealable, adjective
concealability, noun
concealedly, adverb
concealedness, noun
concealer, noun
half-concealed, adjective
half-concealing, adjective
preconceal, verb (used with object)
reconceal, verb (used with object)
semiconcealed, adjective
subconcealed, adjective
unconcealed, adjective
unconcealing, adjective
unconcealingly, adverb
well-concealed, adjective
1. See hide1 . Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for conceal
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • They seemed in no hurry, nor did they make any apparent effort to conceal themselves.

    'Me-Smith' Caroline Lockhart
  • This is too well-known a truth for me to endeavor to conceal it, especially from you.

    Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9) Samuel Richardson
  • Your overcoat will conceal it in the street, and at the office the older the clothes the better.

    The Complete Bachelor Walter Germain
  • About daylight I reached a forest in which I could conceal myself during the day.

    Biography of a Slave Charles Thompson
  • He had the tact now to conceal his astonishment at the manner of his friend's speech.

    The Pillar of Light Louis Tracy
British Dictionary definitions for conceal


verb (transitive)
to keep from discovery; hide
to keep secret
Derived Forms
concealable, adjective
concealer, noun
concealment, noun
Word Origin
C14: from Old French conceler, from Latin concēlāre, from com- (intensive) + cēlāre 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 conceal

early 14c., concelen, from Old French conceler "to hide, conceal, dissimulate," from Latin concelare "to hide," from com-, intensive prefix (see com-), + celare "to hide," from PIE root *kel- "to hide" (see cell). Replaced Old English deagan. Related: Concealed; concealing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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