cloak-and-dagger

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cloak-and-dagger

Using or involving secrecy, deception, or espionage, especially the kind portrayed in dramatic depictions of spying. During the Cold War, there were always rumors of the latest cloak-and-dagger tactics being used by spies. I know I said I wanted to meet you in private, but you didn't have to be so cloak-and-dagger about it. A parking garage isn't what I had in mind.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

cloak-and-dagger

involving secrecy and plotting. A great deal of cloak-and-dagger stuff goes on in political circles. A lot of cloak-and-dagger activity was involved in the appointment of the director.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

cloak-and-dagger

COMMON You use cloak-and-dagger to describe activities, especially dangerous ones, which are done in secret. Now that the Berlin Wall has come down, the cloak-and-dagger world of East-West espionage might appear to be outdated. They met in classic cloak-and-dagger style beside the lake in St James's Park. Note: You can refer to such activities as cloaks and daggers. Working in police intelligence has very little to do with cloaks and daggers — it's mostly about boring reports and endless statistics. Note: You sometimes use this expression to suggest that people are treating these activities in an unnecessarily dramatic way. Note: This expression is taken from the name of a type of 17th century Spanish drama, in which characters typically wore cloaks and fought with daggers or swords.
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

cloak-and-dagger

Describing a secret or undercover operation. The term dates from seventeenth-century Spain, and the popular swashbuckling plays of Lope de Vega and Pedro Calderón de la Barca, filled with duels, intrigue, and betrayal. They were referred to as comedias de capa y espada, which was variously translated as “cloak-and-sword” or “cloak-and-dagger plays.” Somewhat later, in the nineteenth century, the term began to be applied to various kinds of romantic intrigue, and still later, to espionage. The idea of concealment was, of course, much older, and indeed, Chaucer wrote of “The smyler with the knyf under the cloke” (The Knight’s Tale).
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in periodicals archive ?
"The Cloak and Dagger lore is kind of scattershot, but one of the most interesting things is the idea of a friend and confidante that turns evil-ish," he said.
In the comics, Cloak and Dagger are superpowered runaways who go after street predators, often teaming up with Spider-Man and other costumed crime fighters.
With deadpan wit, the grown-up Roger Hall details his experiences as an OSS officer in You're Stepping on My Cloak and Dagger, which received wide acclaim when it first appeared in 1957.
The CIA has always supported democracy in hostile countries with a goal, as Eisenhower put it, "to get the world, by peaceful means, to believe the truth" But when peaceful means have failed, or seemed inconvenient, the CIA has also run subversive cloak and dagger campaigns to give the world that truth, good and hard.
But by the time Cloak and Dagger came out in 1946, the ending was cut for political reasons.
For more details ring Chris Green, of Cloak and Dagger Productions, on 07967 779102.
But Smith was also on a cloak and dagger mission to try to persuade Inter Milan's Ince to join Rangers at the end of this season.
In addition to the books and articles published under his own name, Ford wrote parodies under the pen name John Riddell Among his books are Three Rousing Cheers for the Rollo Boys (1925); Salt Water Taffy (1929); Short Cut to Tokyo (1943); Cloak and Dagger (1946, with Alastair MacBain); How to Guess Your Age (1950); Office Party (1951); The Day Nothing Happened (1959); and, under his pseudonym, Meaning No Offense (1928) and The John Riddell Murder Case (1930).
"Marvel's Cloak and Dagger" kicked off with an epic meeting and reunion of heroes, but the two still went their separate ways by the end of the night.
The 10-episode series, which will be on Freeform like the previously announced Marvel show 'Cloak and Dagger' next year, will focus on six quirky heroes: Squirrel Girl (Milana Vayntrub), Mister Immortal (Derek Theler), Microbe (Matthew Moy), Debrii (Kate Comer), Night Thrasher (Jeremy Tardy) and Speedball (Calum Worthy).
"We became councillors to improve the reputation of the council, but this sort of cloak and dagger way of working will drag the authority back into its darkest days.
Whispers, none of them proved, have begun about others, talk of cloak and dagger investigations into world-famous faces.
He said: "It's all very cloak and dagger but knowing my luck I'll probably end up selling ice creams."
She said: "On the very day the Libyan spymaster defects, you'd have thought the Foreign Secretary would have better things to do than raise money on a cloak and dagger mission in Edinburgh.
The Burlesque Queen first "stripped down to a barely-there diamond-studded g-string with tiny stick-on studs up top" before slipping into a sparkling gold tub at a launch party for pal Amanda Eliasch's "Cloak and Dagger Butterfly."