cloak-and-dagger love

cloak-and-dagger

Definitions

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

Etymologies

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)

Examples

  • The military intelligence complex an hour outside Washington where the WikiLeaks case goes to court this week is known as a cloak-and-dagger sanctum off-limits to the public - a reputation that's only party true.

    Yahoo! News: Business - Opinion

  • WikiLeaks suspect's trial near super-secure NSA The military intelligence complex an hour outside Washington where the WikiLeaks case goes to court this week is known as a cloak-and-dagger sanctum off-limits to the public - a reputation that's only party true.

    The Seattle Times

  • The military intelligence complex an hour outside Washington where the WikiLeaks case goes to court this week is known as a cloak-and-dagger sanctum off-limits to the rest of the world.

    ABC News: Top Stories

  • Some four decades back, he had been the kind of wide-eyed teenager who thought one could volunteer for the KGB, who had believed the cloak-and-dagger stories, only to find in the organs he had romanticized an atavistic bureaucracy staffed by anti-Semites, paper pushers, careerists, and more than a few sadists.

    The Return

  • There was a cloak-and-dagger element to the procedure, soured by a clandestine taint, like ducking out of a 1950s nightclub to smoke weed.

    In the Plex

  • The last part of the story read like something straight out of Hitchcock, with all the cloak-and-dagger characters and international rendezvous of a noir thriller.

    A Covert Affair

  • Hollywood was always ready to bankroll cloak-and-dagger movies that played on those suspicions.

    O: A Presidential Novel

  • Donovan much later would call him “a real cloak-and-dagger boy.”

    Wild Bill Donovan

  • The dull work—agents counting vehicles in enemy convoys, experts reading Axis newspapers, economists poring over building records and government reports to select bombing targets—proved to be of far more value than the cloak-and-dagger spying.

    Wild Bill Donovan

  • The memoir of another of the instructors, the Swiss wrestler Armand Cherpillod, includes a very cloak-and-dagger tale about his teaching a wealthy woman at the Club, only to later discover that she was a “plant” who was passing his wrestling tricks on to his opponents in forthcoming matches.

    The Martial Art of Sherlock Holmes | Edwardian Promenade

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