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covert (adj) secret; hidden (in an illegal way).
Any secret action, carried on unnoticed, especially illegally, is a covert action. Covert actions can be the secret, illegal actions of the enemy or their agents to trouble a country, or an organization. Information from a covert source is information from a secret agent who has gathered it illegally. A covert smile is a smile that passes between two people secretly, with some understanding.
- The US Central Intelligence Agency has its operatives all over the world, and they carry on covert operations like gathering vital information secretly, smuggling persons and arms in and out of countries, etc..
- By the time the covert actions of the secret agent came to the notice of the government, the spy with all the information that he had gathered secretly, had left the country.