covert

[adj. koh-vert, kuhv-ert; n. kuhv-ert, koh-vert]
adjective
1.
concealed; secret; disguised.
2.
covered; sheltered.
3.
Law. (of a wife) under the protection of one's husband.
noun
4.
a covering; cover.
5.
a shelter or hiding place.
6.
concealment or disguise.
7.
Hunting. a thicket giving shelter to wild animals or game.
8.
Also called tectrix. Ornithology. one of the small feathers that cover the bases of the large feathers of the wings and tail. See diag. under bird.

Origin:
1275–1325; Middle English < Anglo-French, Old French < Latin coopertus, past participle of cooperīre to cover completely; see cover

covertly, adverb
covertness, noun

covert, overt.


1. clandestine, surreptitious, furtive.


Covert, related to cover, has historically been pronounced [kuhv-ert] with [uh] the same stressed vowel found in cover. This [uh] is the traditional and unchallenged vowel in many other English words spelled with stressed o followed by v, voiced th, or a nasal in the same syllable, words of high frequency like love and above, mother and other, some and honey. The adjective covert, however, by analogy with overt [oh-vurt, oh-vert] its semantic opposite, has developed the pronunciation [koh-vert] perhaps because of the frequent coupling of the two terms in the news media. This is now the more common pronunciation for the adjective in American English, though not in British English, which retains the historical pronunciation. For the noun senses, less likely to appear in the news or to be contrasted with overt and its [oh] sound, the historical [kuhv-ert] remains the more frequent pronunciation.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
covert (ˈkʌvət)
 
adj
1.  concealed or secret: covert jealousy
2.  law feme covert Compare discovert
 
n
3.  a shelter or disguise
4.  a thicket or woodland providing shelter for game
5.  short for covert cloth
6.  ornithol any of the small feathers on the wings and tail of a bird that surround the bases of the larger feathers
7.  a flock of coots
 
[C14: from Old French: covered, from covrir to cover]
 
'covertly
 
adv
 
'covertness
 
n

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

covert
c.1300, from O.Fr. covert, pp. of covrir "to cover" (see cover).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
His work is suppressed by a scientific establishment with covert political aims.
But they also still do covert work in the dead of night.
There is another premise to the site, albeit a covert one: that dining out can
  be boring.
As a tsunami speeds on its covert way, undersea mountains and valleys may alter
  its course.
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