\ ˈstelth How to pronounce stealth (audio) \

Definition of stealth

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a cautious, unobtrusive, and secretive way of moving or proceeding intended to avoid detection Makos, among the fastest of sharks, chase down their prey. Slower species … rely on stealth and explosive power.— Steve Kemper The intricate labor … required courage and stealth.— Sue M. Halpern As we walked closer we began treading with exaggerated stealth until we came very close …— Dorothy Dimsdale A thief does his work in secret and by stealth.— Harry Shaw
2 : an aircraft-design characteristic consisting of oblique angular construction and avoidance of vertical surfaces that is intended to produce a very weak radar return usually used before another noun a stealth bomber/fighterstealth aircraftstealth technology
3a archaic : theft
b obsolete : something stolen



Definition of stealth (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : intended not to attract attention : stealthy a stealth campaign … the company has operated in stealth mode until now.— Steve Silberman Her team seemed to communicate with a secret stealth language …— E. L. Konigsburg — see also stealth entry 1 sense 2
2 medical : involving or caused by an asymptomatic or presymptomatic infectious individual : silent sense 1b stealth spread/transmission of a contagious disease

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Examples of stealth in a Sentence

Noun The fox uses stealth and cunning to hunt its prey. Adjective the SWAT team carried out a stealth raid on the house, which was believed to be harboring a terrorist cell
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Trump administration officials insisted that the high-tech stealth planes did not interfere with that objective, but did not publicly provide details backing up their assertion. Michael Crowley, New York Times, "Biden Administration Reviewing Trump Arms Sales to U.A.E. and Saudi Arabia," 27 Jan. 2021 Despite pressure from some lawmakers, the Trump administration had held back on sanctions over the missile system, although President Trump said last year the U.S. would withhold sales of advanced F-35 stealth jet fighters to Turkey. Laurence Norman, WSJ, "U.S., EU to Impose Sanctions on Turkey Over Missile System, Energy," 11 Dec. 2020 Those times could be as long as two weeks for Sunburst and as long as four weeks for Kazuar, unusually long delays that indicate a similar level of patience and stealth built into the tools. Andy Greenberg, Wired, "The SolarWinds Hackers Shared Tricks With a Notorious Russian Spy Group," 11 Jan. 2021 Like the V3′s, this pair of assassins were built around the principals of accuracy and stealth. Jace Bauserman, Outdoor Life, "The Best New Compound Bows for 2021," 7 Jan. 2021 Trump expelled Turkey from the F-35 stealth fighter jet program in 2019, which is known as CAATSA. Joel Gehrke, Washington Examiner, "Erdogan's reckoning: Turkey faces wave of sanctions from US and Europe," 12 Dec. 2020 The agreement with the UAE paved the way for the controversial U.S. sale of F-35 stealth fighter jets to the Gulf country. Joseph Krauss, ajc, "Kushner joins Israelis on landmark visit to Morocco," 22 Dec. 2020 The stealth of the attack has slowed efforts to determine how far-reaching the cyber intrusion has been, and new revelations have emerged daily. Dustin Volz, WSJ, "Hack Suggests New Scope, Sophistication for Cyberattacks," 18 Dec. 2020 One of the most troubling developments for NATO is Turkey’s purchase of a Russian missile defense system, the S-400, which could be used to learn the capabilities of the F-35 stealth fighter, the organization’s most advanced plane. Marty Judge Community Voices Contributor, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Commentary: Why Joe Biden’s first trip abroad as president should be to Turkey," 10 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The Nighthawks might also be testing new sensors or capabilities for American stealth fighters. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "The F-117A Nighthawk Is Allegedly Retired. So Why Is It Secretly Flying Over L.A.?," 23 Feb. 2021 This battery, about the size of a shoebox, powered the latest upgrade to the fighter's suite of stealth technologies. Elliot Ackerman, Wired, "2034, Part I: Peril in the South China Sea," 26 Jan. 2021 While its overall shape, size and radar-absorbing stealth coatings are identical to the Air Force F-35A, the powerplant and airframe have been modified for short takeoff and vertical landing (STOVL) operation. Jim Wilson, Popular Mechanics, "America's New Strike Fighter: PM Meets the F-35," 25 Jan. 2021 That means no modern Westerns, no stealth Westerns starring aged X-Men, and no space Westerns with blasters instead of pistols. Keith Phipps, Vulture, "The 50 Greatest Western Movies of All Time," 18 Jan. 2021 Earlier, Turkey was also kicked out of the U.S. F-35 stealth jet program, due to concerns that the Russian technology would jeopardize the safety of the fighter jets. Suzan Fraser, Star Tribune, "Turkey urges 'review' of US sanction decision over S-400s," 14 Jan. 2021 And while a number of companies have trumpeted their choices for the top colors of 2021—ranging from teal to gray and yellow—we’re here to say that this particular shade of acidic green is the true stealth Color of the Year. Sean Santiago, ELLE Decor, "The Color of the Year No One Is Talking About," 14 Jan. 2021 Several times, troops have blundered into stealth missions with loud, heavy machinery. Washington Post, "Bolsonaro sent soldiers to the Amazon to curb deforestation. Here’s how the effort failed.," 4 Jan. 2021 Some survivors have reported stealth surveillance while others have been forced to share their locations with their abusers 24/7. Mélissa Godin, Time, "How Domestic Abusers Have Exploited Technology During the Pandemic," 31 Dec. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'stealth.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of stealth


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 3a


1979, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for stealth


Middle English stelthe; akin to Old English stelan to steal

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Time Traveler for stealth

Time Traveler

The first known use of stealth was in the 14th century

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Statistics for stealth

Last Updated

5 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Stealth.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for stealth



English Language Learners Definition of stealth

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a secret, quiet, and clever way of moving or behaving



English Language Learners Definition of stealth (Entry 2 of 2)

technical used to describe military aircraft that are designed so that they cannot be easily seen by radar
chiefly US : done or happening in a secret or quiet way that does not attract attention


\ ˈstelth How to pronounce stealth (audio) \

Kids Definition of stealth

: sly or secret action

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