Conceal vs. Hide: What's the Difference?
"Conceal often implies intention and deliberation, keeping something secret; Hide is broader, meaning to put something out of sight, either literally or figuratively."
"Conceal" implies a sense of intentionality, often used when someone actively and deliberately ensures something is kept secret or out of view. "Hide" can also imply intentionality but is used in a broader sense, referring to the act of placing something where it will not be easily seen or found.
When someone chooses to "conceal" something, it often suggests a level of strategic thought, perhaps because the item or information is sensitive or private. To "hide" doesn't necessarily carry the same weight of strategy; it can be a spontaneous action and applies to a wide range of scenarios, not always secretive in nature.
In legal or formal contexts, "conceal" is often used to indicate the intentional suppression of information or evidence. "Hide" is less formal and can refer to a simple physical action, like hiding one's eyes during a surprise, without the connotation of suppressing information.
"Conceal" often carries with it a sense of protecting something from discovery, sometimes for nefarious reasons, or to prevent harm or unwanted attention. "Hide" is a more neutral term, applicable from playful contexts like a hide-and-seek game to serious matters like hiding from danger.
While both "conceal" and "hide" can pertain to physical objects or emotions, "conceal" is more commonly used in reference to immaterial things, like one's feelings or intentions. Conversely, "hide" is more commonly associated with tangible objects, though it can be used figuratively as well.
Intentional, often secretive
General, no implied secrecy
More formal, often legal contexts
Common, varied contexts
Both tangible and intangible
Potentially protective or deceptive
Neutral, literal or figurative
Less versatile, more specific usage
More versatile, broad usage
Conceal and Hide Definitions
To prevent something from being seen or known about.
The documents were concealed within a false wall.
To put or keep out of sight.
He decided to hide the letter in a drawer.
To keep from sight; hide.
She concealed the gift behind her back.
To seek protection by concealing oneself.
They had to hide from the enemy.
To keep something secret.
He concealed his true intentions from her.
To put or keep out of sight or away from notice
Hid the money in a sock.
To place out of sight.
The path was concealed by heavy foliage.
To prevent the disclosure or recognition of; conceal
Tried to hide the facts.
To withhold knowledge of something.
She concealed the fact that she had graduated at the top of her class.
To cut off from sight; cover up
Clouds hid the stars.
To keep from being observed or discovered; hide. ]
To avert (one's gaze), especially in shame or grief.
(transitive) To hide something from view or from public knowledge, to try to keep something secret.
He tried to conceal the truth about his health.
To keep oneself out of sight or notice.
To hide or withdraw from observation; to cover; to cover or keep from sight; to prevent the discovery of; to withhold knowledge of.
It is the glory of God to conceal a thing.
Declare ye among the nations, . . . publish and conceal not.
He which finds him shall deserve our thanks, . . . He that conceals him, death.
Bur double griefs afflict concealing hearts.
Both dissemble deeply their affections.
We have in these words a primary sense, which reveals a future state, and a secondary sense, which hides and secretes it.
To seek refuge or respite
"no place to hide from boredom or anger or loneliness" (Matt Teague).
Prevent from being seen or discovered;
Muslim women hide their faces
Hide the money
To beat severely; flog.
Hold back; keep from being perceived by others;
She conceals her anger well
The skin of an animal, especially the thick tough skin or pelt of a large animal.
An old English measure of land, usually the amount held adequate for one free family and its dependents.
(transitive) To put (something) in a place where it will be harder to discover or out of sight.
He hides his magazines under the bed.
The politicians were accused of keeping information hidden from the public.
(intransitive) To put oneself in a place where one will be harder to find or out of sight.
To beat with a whip made from hide.
(countable) The skin of an animal.
The human skin.
One's own life or personal safety, especially when in peril.
To save his own hide
Better watch his hide
(countable) mainly British A covered structure from which hunters, birdwatchers, etc can observe animals without scaring them.
A secret room for hiding oneself or valuables; a hideaway.
(countable) A covered structure to which a pet animal can retreat, as is recommended for snakes.
(historical) A unit of land and tax assessment of varying size, originally as intended to support one household with dependents.
To conceal, or withdraw from sight; to put out of view; to secrete.
A city that is set on an hill can not be hid.
If circumstances lead me, I will findWhere truth is hid.
To withhold from knowledge; to keep secret; to refrain from avowing or confessing.
Heaven from all creatures hides the book of fate.
To remove from danger; to shelter.
In the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion.
To lie concealed; to keep one's self out of view; to be withdrawn from sight or observation.
Bred to disguise, in public 'tis you hide.
To flog; to whip.
An abode or dwelling.
The skin of an animal, either raw or dressed; - generally applied to the undressed skins of the larger domestic animals, as oxen, horses, etc.
The human skin; - so called in contempt.
O tiger's heart, wrapped in a woman's hide!
The dressed skin of an animal (especially a large animal)
Body covering of a living animal
Prevent from being seen or discovered;
Muslim women hide their faces
Hide the money
Be or go into hiding; keep out of sight, as for protection and safety;
Probably his horse would be close to where he was hiding
She is hiding out in a cabin in Montana
Cover as if with a shroud;
The origins of this civilization are shrouded in mystery
Make undecipherable or imperceptible by obscuring or concealing;
A hidden message
A veiled threat
To conceal from the view or notice of others.
She tried to hide her disappointment.
To obscure or cover up.
The moon was hidden by clouds.
To keep secret.
I chose to hide my feelings.
Is "conceal" more formal than "hide"?
Generally, "conceal" is used in more formal or legal contexts.
Does "conceal" always imply intent?
Typically, yes; it suggests a deliberate effort.
What's another word for "conceal"?
Disguise, mask, or veil.
Is "conceal" used for physical objects only?
No, it can also refer to emotions or information.
Can "hide" refer to emotions?
Yes, people often hide their feelings.
Is "hide" a casual term?
It's more common and used in everyday language.
Does "hide" mean deception?
Not necessarily; it's a broader term without the connotation of deceit.
Is "concealing" evidence illegal?
It can be, in certain legal contexts.
Can "hide" be unintentional?
Yes, one can hide things unknowingly or accidentally.
Are there synonyms for "hide"?
Yes, like obscure, cover, or shield.
Can someone "hide" their background?
They can try, by not revealing their past.
Can "conceal" imply deception?
It can, especially if information is intentionally withheld.
Do animals "hide"?
Yes, often for protection or hunting.
Is it wrong to "hide" things?
It depends on the context and intention.
Can you "conceal" your thoughts?
Yes, by not expressing or revealing them.
Is "hiding" always physical?
No, it can also be figurative, like hiding one's true self.
Can animals "conceal" themselves?
They can, often as a survival strategy.
Can "hide" be used in gaming?
Yes, like in "hide-and-seek."
Does "conceal" mean to protect?
Sometimes, it's used to prevent something from being found or known.
Is "concealment" used in insurance?
Yes, it refers to hiding important information.
Written bySawaira Riaz
Sawaira is a dedicated content editor at difference.wiki, where she meticulously refines articles to ensure clarity and accuracy. With a keen eye for detail, she upholds the site's commitment to delivering insightful and precise content.
Edited bySumera Saeed
Sumera is an experienced content writer and editor with a niche in comparative analysis. At Diffeence Wiki, she crafts clear and unbiased comparisons to guide readers in making informed decisions. With a dedication to thorough research and quality, Sumera's work stands out in the digital realm. Off the clock, she enjoys reading and exploring diverse cultures.