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tr.v. con·cealed, con·ceal·ing, con·ceals
To keep from being observed or discovered; hide. See Synonyms at hide1.

[Middle English concelen, from Old French conceler, from Latin concēlāre : com-, intensive pref.; see com- + cēlāre, to hide; see kel- in Indo-European roots.]

con·ceal′a·ble adj.
con·ceal′ment n.


The protection from observation or surveillance. See also camouflage; cover; screen.



(See also SECRECY.)

all one’s geese are swans See EXAGGERATION.

cover one’s tracks To hide or conceal one’s actions or motives, to cover up, to get rid of the evidence. The allusion is to the practice of American Indians, backwoodsmen, and such, who erased or otherwise obliterated their footprints to avoid being followed. See Indian file, ARRANGEMENT.

In corresponding, I endeavored to cover my tracks as far as possible. (Albert D. Richardson, The Secret Service, the Field, the Dungeon, and the Escape, 1865)

gild the pill To mask or ease an offensive or onerous task by providing attractive incentives; to cloak in euphemism. This expression is derived from the sugary coating applied to pills to make them more palatable.

Palmerston must go … There was no attempt to gild the pill, since on reflection it seemed better that he should not lead the Commons. (Philip Guedalla, Palmerston, 1926)

put up a smoke screen To camouflage or conceal one’s intentions, motives, or actions from one’s rivals or opponents, or from the general public. A smoke screen is a cover of dense smoke produced to camouflage a ship, plane, or area from the enemy during top-secret military operations.

A reply which General Waters considers was a skilful smoke-screen to conceal a refusal. (The Observer, June, 1928)

sweep under the carpet To cover up or conceal something embarrassing or disagreeable in the hope that it will escape notice or be forgotten; also to push under the carpet.

It would be self-deception to think that unemployment could be dealt with by emergency measures and pushed under the carpet. (The Times, January, 1963)

Of fairly recent coinage, this expression refers to the lazy person’s step-saving trick of literally sweeping dirt under the rug instead of picking it up.

under the counter In a clandestine, often illegal manner; out of sight, set apart from the regular stock; having to do with money changing hands unofficially or illegally. The counter or table is the one over which money is exchanged for merchandise. Under-the-counter or under-the-table practices or products are often connected with the black market. The expression was popular during World War II when certain luxury items were in demand but accessible only “under the counter.” Banned books have also been popular “under-the-counter” items.

Chief goods to “go under the counter” are fully fashioned silk stockings, watches, and silk handkerchiefs. (Evening Standard, December 20, 1945)

Under the counter is usually used interchangeably with under the table, though the latter is heard more often to describe payment made but not officially recorded, thus evading taxes.

whitewash To cover up defects, faults, or mistakes, especially to deceive the public about the disreputable goings on of a public figure; to make the guilty look innocent or to condone a reprehensible action, by hiding or manipulating the facts and creating a façade of respectability. To whitewash is literally to whiten with a composition of lime and water, or ground chalk. Figuratively, this Americanism means to exonerate or give a clean slate to an unethical or guilty person. Also used substantively, the term is commonly heard in political contexts.

Several Republican senators reported that the report was a “whitewash” of [Senator] McCarthy’s charges. (AP wire story, July 20, 1950)

ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.concealment - the condition of being concealed or hiddenconcealment - the condition of being concealed or hidden
isolation - a state of separation between persons or groups
covertness, hiddenness - the state of being covert and hidden
bosom - the chest considered as the place where secret thoughts are kept; "his bosom was bursting with the secret"
confidentiality - the state of being secret; "you must respect the confidentiality of your client's communications"
hiding - the state of being hidden; "he went into hiding"
2.concealment - a covering that serves to conceal or shelter somethingconcealment - a covering that serves to conceal or shelter something; "a screen of trees afforded privacy"; "under cover of darkness"; "the brush provided a covert for game"; "the simplest concealment is to match perfectly the color of the background"
blind - a hiding place sometimes used by hunters (especially duck hunters); "he waited impatiently in the blind"
camouflage - device or stratagem for concealment or deceit
covering - an artifact that covers something else (usually to protect or shelter or conceal it)
shoji - a translucent screen made of a wooden frame covered with rice paper
stalking-horse - screen consisting of a figure of a horse behind which a hunter hides while stalking game
3.concealment - the activity of keeping something secret
activity - any specific behavior; "they avoided all recreational activity"
disguise, camouflage - the act of concealing the identity of something by modifying its appearance; "he is a master of disguise"
mask - activity that tries to conceal something; "no mask could conceal his ignorance"; "they moved in under a mask of friendship"
masking, screening, cover, covering - the act of concealing the existence of something by obstructing the view of it; "the cover concealed their guns from enemy aircraft"
cover - a false identity and background (especially one created for an undercover agent); "her new name and passport are cover for her next assignment"
cover-up - concealment that attempts to prevent something scandalous from becoming public
burying, burial - concealing something under the ground
smoke screen, smokescreen - an action intended to conceal or confuse or obscure; "requesting new powers of surveillance is just a smokescreen to hide their failures"
stealth, stealing - avoiding detection by moving carefully
money laundering - concealing the source of illegally gotten money


1. cover, hiding, camouflage, hiding place The criminals vainly sought concealment from the searchlight.
2. cover-up, disguise, keeping secret His concealment of his true motives was masterly.
cover-up showing, display, exposure, leak, revelation, give-away, uncovering, disclosure


The habit, practice, or policy of keeping secrets:
إخْفاء، كِتْمان


[kənˈsiːlmənt] N [of object] → ocultación f; [of emotion] → disimulación f (Jur) → encubrimiento m
place of concealmentescondrijo m


[kənˈsiːlmənt] n
(keeping hidden) [person, criminal, stolen goods] → recel m
(keeping secret) [information, motives, documents] → dissimulation f


n (of facts)Verheimlichung f; (of evidence)Unterschlagung f; (of criminal)Gewährung fvon Unterschlupf (→ of an +acc); to come out of concealmentaus dem Versteck auftauchen; to stay in concealmentsich versteckt halten


[kənˈsiːlmənt] nil nascondere; (of facts) → occultazione f; (of feelings) → dissimulazione f


(kənˈsiːl) verb
to hide or keep secret. He concealed his disappointment from his friends.
conˈcealment noun
References in classic literature ?
But the severe monotonous warning came again and again,--that she was losing the simplicity and clearness of her life by admitting a ground of concealment; and that, by forsaking the simple rule of renunciation, she was throwing herself under the seductive guidance of illimitable wants.
And it was not the necessity of concealment, not the aim with which the concealment was contrived, but the process of concealment itself which attracted her.
When he saw her close enough to touch it, Oolanga stepped forward from his concealment, and spoke in a whisper, which through the gloom sounded like a hiss.
But I hear some one exclaiming that the concealment of wickedness is often difficult; to which I answer, Nothing great is easy.
The Trust may have been destroyed, or the Trust may be hidden in some place of concealment inaccessible to discovery.
With heedless daring, Vanderburgh put himself upon their trail, to trace them to their place of concealment: It led him over prairies, and through skirts of woodland, until it entered a dark and dangerous ravine.
I charge you by all that is sacred, not to attempt concealment."
Tell me that it is all absolutely resolved on, that any attempt, that in short concealment, if concealment be possible, is all that remains."
It was concluded that they were watching the movements of the party, to discover their place of concealment of such articles as they would be compelled to leave behind.
For a time Werper hid behind one of the lesser boulders that were scattered over the top of the hill, but, seeing or hearing nothing of the Englishman, he crept from his place of concealment to undertake a systematic search of his surroundings, in the hope that he might discover the location of the treasure in ample time to make his escape before Tarzan returned, for it was the Belgian's desire merely to locate the gold, that, after Tarzan had departed, he might come in safety with his followers and carry away as much as he could transport.
In the hopeless self-betrayal of delirium, Miss Letitia had revealed some act of concealment, committed in her past life, and confided to her faithful old servant.
"For my second place of concealment I chose what seemed in the darkness a narrow canon leading through a range of rocky hills.