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
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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
Everyone would turn into a living zombie with an identification number covertly
  tagged.
It tells us nothing about what kinds of cause-effect functional relations are
  going on when a subject overtly or covertly behaves.
It is unconscionable to covertly reformat itself while continuing to hide
  behind scientific reporting.
Generally, a service provider or government will want to conduct its activities
  covertly.
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