cloak and dagger


cloak and dagger


  • an activity or process that involves spying, secrecy, or mystery.
  • a gripping story involving mysteries and secrecy, frequently involving spies.
  • conducted with hidden purposes or techniques.
  • characteristic of the activities of spies and undercover agents.

Examples in a Sentence

  1. He didn’t want anyone to know what he was doing, so he kept his plans cloaked and daggered from the public.
  2. The spies snuck into enemy territory without anyone noticing; it was a true cloak and dagger
  3. The politician’s close ties with the crime syndicate had always been cloaked and daggered.
  4. The entire mission was shrouded in secrecy, they kept it cloaked and daggered from everyone.
  5. Do we need to go the cloak-and-dagger way? Why can’t we just meet in a cafe like everyone else?


The idiom is often used to refer to activities that involve secrecy and intrigue. It can be applied to any situation where someone is trying to conduct something secretly, with the “cloak” being a metaphor for the attempt to hide something from others and the “dagger” being a symbol of danger and violence. In literature, this phrase is often used as a descriptor for spy stories. It can also be used to refer to conversations that take place in private or restricted locations, such as back rooms or shadowy corridors. With its connotations of mystery and suspense, it is easy to see why the phrase has become so well known.

Fighting with a knife concealed under a cloak was known as “cloak and dagger” in the Renaissance. Later, the phrase was used as a metaphor to describe circumstances involving mystery, intrigue, or espionage.

The idiom has its origins based in intrigue, suspense, and mystery. It was first linked with spies, particularly during the time of the European Renaissance, when secret agents would use disguise to carry out their clandestine missions. Later, this expression made its way into descriptions of literature and films featuring espionage as a predominant theme. The idea behind this phrase implies that an individual or organization is using secretive measures for an unknown purpose, much like the cloak that conceals one’s identity from being seen and the dagger that is used for self-protection (or defense). Even today, this idiom can be used to describe when something shady is going on that requires in-depth investigation to reveal its secrets.

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