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[uhn-der-kuhv-er, uhn-der-kuhv-] /ˌʌn dərˈkʌv ər, ˈʌn dərˌkʌv-/
working or done out of public sight; secret:
an undercover investigation.
engaged in spying or securing confidential information:
an undercover agent.
Origin of undercover
1850-55; under- + cover
1. concealed, covert, clandestine, hidden. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for undercover
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Well, it's a combination of vice, narcotics, and undercover work.

    Warren Commission (7 of 26): Hearings Vol. VII (of 15) The President's Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy
  • The Federation's undercover boys have been scanning the Devagas worlds and Tranest very closely of late, naturally.

    Legacy James H Schmitz
  • Do you know whether he was ever acting as an undercover agent for the FBI.

    Warren Commission (1 of 26): Hearings Vol. I (of 15) The President's Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy
  • He realized almost at once that such an unknown, undercover echelon would be a must.

    Man of Many Minds E. Everett Evans
  • Of course there were undercover agents on Zarathustra, hundreds of them.

    Little Fuzzy Henry Beam Piper
British Dictionary definitions for undercover


done or acting in secret: undercover operations
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 undercover

1854, "sheltered," from under + cover (n.). Sense of "operating secretly" attested from 1920.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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