American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A secret word or phrase used as a code name or password.
- n. A euphemism: "The Democrats' 'populism' is a code word for bigger farm subsidies and protectionism” ( New Republic).
“For the attention of Colonel Barge; Direct Order from the Führer; Enclosed is the code word upon whose receipt by telegraph in encrypted form you will begin the assault on, and total liquidation of, all Italian anti-Fascist forces in Cephallonia.”
“The visibility was good enough to work, and although I found out to my surprise that the cloud deck at 8,000 feet was a solid overcast, I blasted out the code word for go and the strike was on.”
““You think he might have passed a code word to Princess and she split on us?””
“China communiqu announcing the normalization included a statement of the two nations opposition to hegemony, a code word for Soviet influence.”
“Excellent was a code word meaning counterfeit or false information.”
“Guided was a code word between them, meaning "watched very carefully.”
“Pudding' was the code word agreed upon so the boy from Yonkers would know when he was having a bona fide adventure.”
“Guy said, instantly seizing on their code word for back-bending balls-to-the-wall wild gorilla sex.”
“Part of the reason he was able to avoid apprehension for almost twenty years was his ability to embed the bombs with misleading clues: He kept using the code word wood in the missives, sometimes inscribed the random initials “FC,” and once included a note to a nonexistent person named “Wu.””
“Reorganization sometimes appears to be a code word symbolizing a general frustration with bureaucracy and governmental intrusion in private lives Seidman, 1980: 125.”
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