AskDefine | Define conceal

Dictionary Definition



1 prevent from being seen or discovered; "Muslim women hide their faces"; "hide the money" [syn: hide] [ant: show]
2 hold back; keep from being perceived by others; "She conceals her anger well" [syn: hold back, hold in]

User Contributed Dictionary




  1. To hide something from view or from public knowledge, to try to keep something secret.
    He tried to conceal the truth about his health.

Related terms



Extensive Definition

Concealment or hiding is obscuring something from view or rendering it inconspicuous, the opposite of exposure. A military term is CCD: camouflage, concealment and deception (looks the same as the surroundings, cannot be seen, looks like something else, respectively); in a wider sense the other two are also forms of hiding. The objective of hiding is often to keep the presence of an object or person secret, but in other cases not the presence is a secret, but only the location.
More generally an object may be hidden from view, either purposely, or as a side effect; in this case the presence of the object is not necessarily a secret. Examples:

In nature

Many organisms have evolved various forms of concealment. See the articles crypsis, camouflage and mimicry.

Military tactics

  • In the genre of military tactics, the term refers to any object, vegetation, terrain feature, or phenomenon (i.e., night, smoke, fog) that prevents a combatant (or unit of combatants) from being seen by the enemy. In differentiation from the similar concept of cover, concealment cannot protect against actual projectiles.

Computer science and programming

  • Information hiding is the hiding of design decisions in a computer program that are most likely to change.

Information and data

  • Cryptography is the study of message secrecy.
  • Steganography is the art and science of writing hidden messages in such a way that no one apart from the intended recipient knows of the existence of the message; this is in contrast to cryptography, where the existence of the message itself is not disguised, but the content is obscured.


conceal in Dutch: Verborgenheid
conceal in Yiddish: באהאלטן

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

becloud, befog, blanket, blind, bosom, bury, cache, camouflage, classify, cloak, cloud, cover, cover up, curtain, disguise, dissemble, distract attention from, ditch, eclipse, ensconce, enshroud, envelop, file and forget, gloss over, hide, hold out on, in petto, keep, keep back, keep between us, keep buttoned up, keep close, keep dark, keep from, keep hidden, keep in ignorance, keep mum, keep secret, keep snug, keep under cover, keep under wraps, make no sign, mask, never let on, not give away, not tell, obfuscate, obscure, occult, play dumb, screen, secrete, shade, shroud, slur over, stash, varnish, veil, whitewash, withhold
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