Share this entry

Share this page

conceal

Syllabification: con·ceal
Pronunciation: /kənˈsēl
 
/

Definition of conceal in English:

verb

[with object]
1Keep from sight; hide: a line of sand dunes concealed the distant sea
More example sentences
  • My dark hair conceals my damp yellow eyes, like a funeral veil that hides a widow's tears.
  • She carefully picked up two small bottles, concealing one with the other.
  • The room in which was entered was both dead and dark, concealing everything that existed in it.
Synonyms
hide, screen, cover, obscure, block out, blot out, mask, shroud, secrete
hidden, not visible, out of sight, invisible, covered, disguised, camouflaged, obscured;
private, secret
1.1Keep (something) secret; prevent from being known or noticed: love that they had to conceal from others
More example sentences
  • The problem for me is how unfreedom is hidden, concealed in precisely what is presented to us as new freedoms.
  • The knowledge of this has always been there, but it's been half hidden, concealed for its own good.
  • Humankind's deceptive nature is probably the one thing we cannot hide or conceal.
Synonyms
hide, cover up, disguise, mask, veil;
keep secret, draw a veil over;
suppress, repress, bottle up
informal keep a lid on, keep under one's hat

Origin

Middle English: from Old French conceler, from Latin concelare, from con- 'completely' + celare 'hide'.

More
  • hell from (Old English):

    Hell descends from an ancient Indo-European root with the sense ‘to cover, hide’ which also gave rise to Latin celare (root of conceal (Middle English) and occult) and to English hole ( see hold), helmet (Late Middle English), and heel ‘to set a plant in the ground and cover its roots’. This was originally unconnected with the Old English word for the part of the foot, but rather came from helian ‘cover’.

    The infernal regions are regarded as a place of torment or punishment, and many curses and exclamations, such as a hell of a— or one hell of a—, depend on this. These expressions used to be shocking, and until the early 20th century were usually printed as h—l or h—. Alterations such as heck (late 19th century) served the same softening purpose in speech as well as in writing. The saying hell hath no fury like a woman scorned is a near quotation from a 1697 play by William Congreve: ‘Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned, Nor Hell a fury like a woman scorned.’ The dramatist Colley Cibber had used very similar words just a year earlier, and the idea was commonplace in the Renaissance. It can be traced back to the Greek dramatist Euripides of the 5th century bc. Strictly the ‘fury’ is one of the Furies of Greek mythology, frightening goddesses who avenged wrong and punished crime, but most people now use and interpret it in the sense ‘wild or violent anger’. The proverb the road to hell is paved with good intentions dates from the late 16th century, but earlier forms existed which omitted the first three words. Grumpy and misanthropic people everywhere will agree with the French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre who wrote in 1944: ‘Hell is other people.’

Derivatives

concealable

1
adjective
Example sentences
  • No rifle is as portable and concealable as a good handgun.
  • Likewise, the Indonesian public was kept in the dark until the end of last month when the news was no longer concealable.
  • Gavin had involuntarily become one of the scouts, his mark easily concealable on his neck.

Definition of conceal 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 cumbersome
Pronunciation: ˈkʌmbəs(ə)m
adjective
large or heavy and therefore difficult to carry…