• clandestine

    secret, hidden


clandestine = geheim, heimlich, verborgen


In the press

In 2003, Iran admitted the existence of a CLANDESTINE nuclear program and agreed to suspend all nuclear research.

(New York Times)

Did you know?


- planned or done in secret, especially describing something that is not officially allowed

(Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary)


From the Latin "clandestinus" (secret, hidden), which is probably a blend of "clam" (secretly) and "intestines" (internal). Clam also refers to an edible sea creature with a shell in two parts that can close together tightly. Because it gives the appearance of a mouth with a set of closed lips, clam also refers to a person who is able to keep a secret. The expression "clam up" means to refuse to talk.

Clandestine shirt sales

As a former law enforcement officer, John Miller (author of The Cell) had considerable experience in the clandestine monitoring of phone conversations of suspected criminals. The Mafia was well aware of this and also knew there was a risk of informants in the family business. That's why they often used codes involving "innocent" words to describe such things as guns and kilograms of cocaine. The police were not always fooled. Indeed, Miller once overheard the following conversation:

"So you got any more of them... shirts?"
"Yeah, we got some nice shirts"
"How white are they?"
"They're very white."
"How much?"
"250 each."
"OK. We'll take three and a half... shirts."



clandestine childbirth - verheimlichte Geburt
clandestine dealings - heimliche Geschäfte
clandestine employment - Schwarzarbeit
clandestine immigration - illegale Einwanderung
clandestine marriage - heimliche Eheschließung
clandestine meeting - heimliches Treffen
clandestine operation - Geheimoperation
clandestine press - heimliche Presse
clandestine publication - heimliche Veröffentlichung
clandestine rendezvous - Schäferstündchen
clandestine trade - Schleichhandel
clandestine worker - Schwarzarbeiter


secret, covert, furtive, surreptitious, stealthy, cloak-and-dagger, hole-and-corner, hole-in-the-corner, closet, behind-the-scenes, backstairs, back-alley, under-the-table, hugger-mugger, concealed, hidden, private; sly, sneaky, underhand; undercover, underground; informal: hush-hush

Practice OWAD in a conversation today

Say somthing like:

"CLANDESTINE love affairs can mean the end of a politician's career."

A Friend in Need, is a Friend Indeed:

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