clandestine • \klan-DES-tun\ • adjective
: marked by, held in, or conducted with secrecy :surreptitious
“Frida Kahlo met Jose Bartoli in New York while she wasrecuperating from spinal surgery stemming from a busaccident in her youth. Their … clandestine correspondence lasted for three years, aided by friendsand Kahlo’s sister, Cristina, who had introduced the pair.”
— Gotham News, April 24, 2015
Did you know?
In 1658, the English poet John Milton wrote of “clandestine Hostility cover’d over with the name of peace.” Over three and a half centuries later we use clandestine in much the same way. The word is often used as a synonym of secret and covert, and it is commonly applied to actions that involve secrecy maintained for an evil, illicit, or unauthorized purpose. It comes to us by way of Middle French from Latinclandestinus, which is itself from clam, meaning“secretly.”