from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- adj. Marked by melodramatic intrigue and often by espionage.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- adj. Marked by menacing furtive secrecy, often with a melodramatic tint or espionage involved.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- adj. conducted with or marked by hidden aims or methods
First attested 1840, from French de cape et d’épée, “the cloak and the sword”, the French term referred to a genre of drama in which the main characters wore cloaks and had swords. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow used the “cloak and sword” term in 1840, whereas Charles Dickens preferred “cloak and dagger” a year later. (Wiktionary)