Share this entry

Share this page


Syllabification: clan·des·tine
Pronunciation: /klanˈdestən
, ˈklandesˌtīn

Definition of clandestine in English:


Kept secret or done secretively, especially because illicit: she deserved better than these clandestine meetings
More example sentences
  • 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.


mid 16th century: from French clandestin or Latin clandestinus, from clam 'secretly'.



Example sentences
  • If procedures are outlawed they will almost certainly be available clandestinely to those who can pay.
  • Mandela's autobiography came out originally in 1994, although he started writing it clandestinely in 1974 during his imprisonment.
  • For years she'd been clandestinely dating Jean.


Pronunciation: /ˌklandesˈtinitē/
Example sentences
  • Even the most discrete of armadas might alter their plans and give hint to some clandestinity on our part.
  • These leaders have spent all their adult lives in the cocoon of isolation and paranoia that clandestinity generates.
  • ‘My client appreciates clandestinity,’ the dealer said.

Words that rhyme with clandestine

destine, intestine

Definition of clandestine in:

Share this entry

Share this page


What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day coxcomb
Pronunciation: ˈkɒkskəʊm
a vain and conceited man; a dandy