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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.

cloak (someone or something) in secrecy

To hide someone or something from another person or from public view. The residents complained that the board cloaked its decision process in secrecy, not allowing anyone to see the final plan.
See also: cloak, secrecy

cloak someone or something in secrecy

Fig. to hide or conceal someone or something in secrecy. Patrick cloaked his activities in secrecy. The agents cloaked the spy in secrecy, making her identity a mystery.
See also: cloak, secrecy


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.


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 Now that the Berlin Wall has come down, the cloak-and-dagger world of East-West espionage might appear to be outdated.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.
References in periodicals archive ?
To download a copy the Bad Ads Spotlight: Ad Cloaking Abuses report, visit http://TrustInAds.
Cohen challenged his colleagues to also demonstrate the cloaking of a person "We've reached that benchmark.
Cloaking materials could have applications in the military, microscopy, biomedical sensing, and energy harvesting devices.
By using Helix's Cloaking technology, we will be able to provide powerful features and yet use only a small amount of conventional memory.
The world's top expert on radar has described the fractal invisibility cloak abilities as 'an impressive first' in the art of cloaking.
We believe this approach is a way towards optical cloaking, including visible and infrared.
2 (December 15,1966 Earth calendar), Kirk, Spock and the rest of the Enterprise crew first encountered an enemy ship with a cloaking device, which conferred invisibility by some sort of technological wizardry.
WASHINGTON -- In a new approach to invisibility cloaking, a team of French researchers has proposed isolating or cloaking objects from sources of heat--essentially "thermal cloaking.
They said that their research could have unprecedented applications in the advanced-material science, camouflage, cloaking, optical and/or microwave cognition, and defense security, etc.
Andrews, Leonhardt is among the leaders of the worldwide race to realize an old dream of science fiction: cloaking devices.
A previous invisibility cloak effort by Duke University-based researchers had shown some degree of cloaking , but over a narrow frequency band.
Structures incorporating meta-materials can be designed to guide electromagnetic waves around an object, only to have them emerge on the other side as if they had passed through an empty volume of space, thereby cloaking the object.
In a paper to appear in Physical Review Letters, Nader Engheta and Andrea Alu propose a new cloaking method that would cancel out electromagnetic waves bouncing off an object.