Meaning of clandestine in English:


See synonyms for clandestine

Translate clandestine into Spanish


  • Kept secret or done secretively, especially because illicit.

    ‘she deserved better than these clandestine meetings’
    • ‘I agreed to act as though our affair were a secret, a clandestine drama to be hidden from the rest of the world.’
    • ‘Other clandestine links operate, smuggling arms and, according to the police, drugs into Northern Ireland.’
    • ‘So far, if the clandestine meetings had gotten any easier, it was only marginally.’
    • ‘There were clandestine meetings in a shutdown youth centre, and journeys of many miles to seek out particular preachers.’
    • ‘Some of the longtime members began organizing clandestine meetings to discuss grievances.’
    • ‘Olga's clandestine meetings with Nicholai at Michael's home were becoming dangerous.’
    • ‘Now they were ruled by silence, as if on their way to some clandestine meeting of which it was not permitted to speak.’
    • ‘This is particularly true of those involved in clandestine or illegal activities.’
    • ‘He switched on later to the lucrative clandestine trade of felling and smuggling of sandalwood trees.’
    • ‘Gathering his cast and crew, he plots a clandestine departure.’
    • ‘She was a clandestine officer of the CIA and she had worked undercover around the world.’
    • ‘The clandestine route the escaped slaves traveled became known as the Underground Railroad.’
    • ‘The area is also a haven of illegal immigrants, the majority who are involved in the clandestine activities.’
    • ‘But the other side of the story is of course, perhaps it is possible they were on some clandestine mission.’
    • ‘In certain details every clandestine struggle is very much the same.’
    • ‘We watched their clandestine purchasing and procurement network very carefully.’
    • ‘Their aid no longer had to be clandestine.’
    • ‘We used to hear a lot of rumours about such clandestine transactions.’
    • ‘Indeed, it does appear to be the case that the clandestine nuclear weapons programme was initiated following that strike.’
    • ‘He then returned the plane to its home airport and vanished back into his clandestine world.’
    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
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/klanˈdɛstɪn/ /klanˈdɛstʌɪn/ /ˈklandɪstʌɪn/


Mid 16th century from French clandestin or Latin clandestinus, from clam ‘secretly’.