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A man in a cloak

Alternative formsEdit


From Middle English cloke, from Old Northern French cloque (travelling cloak), from Medieval Latin clocca (travelers' cape, literally “a bell”, so called from the garment’s bell-like shape), of Celtic origin, from Proto-Celtic *klokkos, ultimately imitative.

Doublet of clock.


  • (file)
  • (US) IPA(key): /ˈkloʊk/
  • Rhymes: -əʊk


cloak (plural cloaks)

  1. A long outer garment worn over the shoulders covering the back; a cape, often with a hood.
    • 1963, Margery Allingham, chapter 5, in The China Governess[1]:
      ‘It's rather like a beautiful Inverness cloak one has inherited. Much too good to hide away, so one wears it instead of an overcoat and pretends it's an amusing new fashion.’
  2. A blanket-like covering, often metaphorical.
    Night hid her movements with its cloak of darkness.
  3. (figuratively)  That which conceals; a disguise or pretext.
    1611, The Holy Bible, [] (King James Version), London: [] Robert Barker, [], OCLC 964384981, 1 Thessalonians 2:5:
    For neither at any time vsed wee flattering wordes, as yee knowe, nor a cloke of couetousnesse, God is witnesse:
    1692–1717, Robert South, Twelve Sermons Preached upon Several Occasions, volume (please specify |volume=I to VI), 6th edition, London: [] J[ames] Bettenham, for Jonah Bowyer, [], published 1727, OCLC 21766567:
    No man is esteemed any ways considerable for policy who wears religion otherwise than as a cloak.
  4. (Internet) A text replacement for an IRC user's hostname or IP address, making the user less identifiable.

Derived termsEdit


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

See alsoEdit


cloak (third-person singular simple present cloaks, present participle cloaking, simple past and past participle cloaked)

  1. (transitive) To cover as with a cloak.
  2. (transitive, figuratively) To cover up, hide or conceal.
    • 2022 September 29, Carl Zimmer, “A New Approach to Spotting Tumors: Look for Their Microbes”, in The New York Times[2]:
      It’s possible that some microbes don’t just take up residence in tumors but help them grow. They may cloak the tumor from the immune system, neutralize drugs or help tumors spread through the body.
  3. (science fiction, transitive, intransitive) To render or become invisible via futuristic technology.
    The ship cloaked before entering the enemy sector of space.

Derived termsEdit