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From French clandestin, derived from Latin clandestīnus (secret, concealed).


  • Hyphenation: clan‧des‧tine
  • IPA(key): /klænˈdɛstɪn/, /ˈklændɪst(a)ɪn/, /ˈklændəst(a)ɪn/
  • (file)
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  • Rhymes: -ɛstɪn


clandestine (comparative more clandestine, superlative most clandestine)

  1. Done or kept in secret, sometimes to conceal an illicit or improper purpose.
    Synonyms: covert, furtive, hush-hush, secret, secretive, undercover; see also Thesaurus:covert
    clandestine military operations
    • 1793, Charlotte Smith, chapter 1, in The Old Manor House, volume 3:
      Monimia, who while she yielded to his earnest entreaties had always felt, from the natural rectitude of her understanding, the impropriety of their clandestine correspondence, would, he feared, be more than ever sensible of her indiscretion, when she found that a servant was entrusted with it...
    • 1818, Jane Austen, chapter 31, in Northanger Abbey:
      Whether the torments of absence were softened by a clandestine correspondence, let us not inquire. Mr. and Mrs. Morland never did.
    • 1878, Thomas Hardy, chapter 11, in The Return of the Native:
      Wildeve's clandestine plan with her was to take a little gravel in his hand and hold it to the crevice at the top of the window shutter, which was on the outside, so that it should fall with a gentle rustle, resembling that of a mouse, between shutter and glass.
    • 1912, G. K. Chesterton, chapter 9, in Manalive:
      Lady Bullingdon could not, of course, countenance such an arrangement for a moment, and the two unhappy persons escaped for a clandestine marriage.
    • 1922, H. P. Lovecraft, Herbert West: Reanimator:
      Bodies were always a nuisance -- even the small guinea-pig bodies from the slight clandestine experiments in West’s room at the boarding-house.
    • 1924, Herman Melville, chapter 13, in Billy Budd:
      Probably, the Master-at-arms' clandestine persecution of Billy was started to try the temper of the man...
    • 2003, Trivium (music), “Fugue”, in Ember To Inferno:
      As I stand at the edge of existence; nameless shores of infinity. Perpetual unbirth unraveling distance, clandestine truths unveiled.
    • 2004Penny Arcade
      In my imagination, all work place encounters between men and women result in clandestine sex.
    • 2005Stewart Lee, 90's Comedian DVD
      And I don't want anyone to think I dislike Catholicism because I don't. It's actually my favourite form of clandestine global evil.
  2. (freemasonry, of a person or lodge) Not recognized as a regular member.

Derived terms[edit]





  1. feminine singular of clandestin




  1. Feminine plural of adjective clandestino.


clandestine f pl

  1. feminine plural of clandestino




  1. vocative masculine singular of clandēstīnus