C c


    • US Pronunciation
    • US IPA
    • UK Pronunciation
    • UK IPA
    • [klan-des-tin]
    • /klænˈdɛs tɪn/
    • /klænˈdes.tɪn/
    • US Pronunciation
    • US IPA
    • [klan-des-tin]
    • /klænˈdɛs tɪn/

Definitions of clandestine word

  • adjective clandestine Something that is clandestine is hidden or kept secret, often because it is illegal. 4
  • adjective clandestine secret and concealed, often for illicit reasons; furtive 3
  • adjective clandestine kept secret or hidden, esp. for some illicit purpose; surreptitious; furtive 3
  • adjective clandestine characterized by, done in, or executed with secrecy or concealment, especially for purposes of subversion or deception; private or surreptitious: Their clandestine meetings went undiscovered for two years. 1
  • noun clandestine Kept secret or done secretively, especially because illicit. 1
  • adjective clandestine secret 1

Information block about the term

Origin of clandestine

First appearance:

before 1560
One of the 32% oldest English words
1560-70; < Latin clandestīnus, equivalent to *clande, *clamde, variant of clam secretly (with -de adv. particle) + -stīnus, probably after intestīnus internal; see intestine

Historical Comparancy

Parts of speech for Clandestine


clandestine popularity

A common word. It’s meaning is known to most children of preschool age. About 85% of English native speakers know the meaning and use the word.
Most Europeans know this English word. The frequency of it’s usage is somewhere between "mom" and "screwdriver".

clandestine usage trend in Literature

This diagram is provided by Google Ngram Viewer

Synonyms for clandestine

adj clandestine

  • covert — Covert activities or situations are secret or hidden.
  • illicit — not legally permitted or authorized; unlicensed; unlawful.
  • fraudulent — characterized by, involving, or proceeding from fraud, as actions, enterprise, methods, or gains: a fraudulent scheme to evade taxes.
  • surreptitious — obtained, done, made, etc., by stealth; secret or unauthorized; clandestine: a surreptitious glance.
  • underground — beneath the surface of the ground: traveling underground by subway.

adjective clandestine

  • secret — done, made, or conducted without the knowledge of others: secret negotiations.
  • illegal — forbidden by law or statute.
  • sly — cunning or wily: sly as a fox.

adverb clandestine

  • on the qton the q.t., stealthily; secretly: to meet someone on the q.t.
  • furtively — taken, done, used, etc., surreptitiously or by stealth; secret: a furtive glance.
  • in camera — a judge's private office.
  • stealthily — done, characterized, or acting by stealth; furtive: stealthy footsteps.
  • on the sly — cunning or wily: sly as a fox.

Antonyms for clandestine

adj clandestine

  • aboveboard — An arrangement or deal that is aboveboard is legal and is being carried out openly and honestly. A person who is aboveboard is open and honest about what they are doing.
  • honest — honorable in principles, intentions, and actions; upright and fair: an honest person.
  • legal — permitted by law; lawful: Such acts are not legal.
  • authorized — officially permitted or empowered
  • known — past participle of know1 .

adjective clandestine

  • authorised — Alternative spelling of authorized.

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See also

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