(almost always before noun) cloak-and-dagger activities are secret and mysterious, sometimes in a way that people think is unnecessary or ridiculous
Two Example Dialogues Using ‘Cloak-and-Dagger’
😏: These teenagers think they’re so clever with their cloak-and-dagger antics.
😅: I know! It’s like they forget that we used to be teenagers too, once upon a time!
😎: Meet me on the third bench from the entrance at 2:54 PM. Don’t make eye contact when you get there; just sit down and slide the package towards me slowly.
😂: This is all a bit cloak-and-dagger, isn’t it? I’m giving you a copy of my class notes, not a kilo of cocaine!
Examples of ‘Cloak-and-Dagger’ from the News
“This story is about to get a whole lot more media scrutiny, because it involves secretive back-channel maneuvering, a possible threat to national security and potential lawbreaking at the highest levels of the Trump administration, possibly at the direction of President Trump himself — all with a whole lot of cloak-and-dagger intrigue thrown in.”
– Greg Sargent, “Mystery of Adam Schiff and whistleblower takes dangerous new turn”, 18 September 2019
“While the backstory behind Meng’s fall from Beijing’s grace remains unclear, the cloak-and-dagger way in which it happened serves as a clear reminder to Chinese citizens that they and their families are never out of the government’s reach.”
– James Jay Carafano, “James Carafano: China bears watching — even at the UN”, 23 September 2019
Special Notes on the Word ‘Cloak-and-Dagger’
This is one of those especially fun words in English. Most people don’t wear cloaks anymore, and I’ve personally never met anyone who carries around a dagger. This is a word that makes us think of the swashbuckling days of the past, when you might wear a cloak to hide your identity, or pull a dagger from your boot to surprise your enemy.
Of course, I do actually have a cloak. It’s my #1 favorite item of clothing! Now I just need to get a dagger! 😘🗡️
Pronunciation of ‘Cloak-and-Dagger’
/ˌkloʊk ən ˈdæɡər/
Sources: Definition of ‘Cloak-and-Dagger’
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