Is there a word for seeing without being seen? I want to write about those on the advantageous side of tinted glasses. Visual/optical eavesdropping is the closest phrase I can think of.

  • Perhaps the downvote was because this is a simple matter of General Reference, which is offtopic and a reason for closing according to the FAQ.
    – tchrist
    Commented Jun 17, 2012 at 16:43

6 Answers 6


Try covert, as in covert surveillance, or in your example, a covert observer.


I'd probably go with spying:

to watch secretly usually for hostile purposes

  • 1
    thanks. I'd like a more neutral word though.
    – ottodidakt
    Commented Jun 17, 2012 at 4:17

Does incognito work for your purposes?

: with one's identity concealed


No single word comes to mind, but, if this for journalism, a short phrase might be as good as, or better than, a single word (which would probably be some latinate obscurity). How about discreetly observing/watching/gazing/...?

With reflective lenses, you can reflect on the world that you're reflecting back, gazing discreetly while dressing chicly, grabbing a eager eyeful without risking an irate earful.


"Observe unobserved"

"covertly spy on"

"covertly observe"

"covertly watch"

"voyeur" - implies fetishness or at least and wierdo


Of course there's invisible.

Out of the field of vision of a person. Covered by another object. In the dark. That is perfectly camouflaged.

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