\ˈstel-thē \
stealthier; stealthiest

Definition of stealthy 

1 : slow, deliberate, and secret in action or character

2a : intended to escape observation : furtive

b : designed to produce a very weak radar return a stealthy airplane

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Other Words from stealthy

stealthily \ˈstel-​thə-​lē \ adverb
stealthiness \ˈstel-​thē-​nəs \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for stealthy

secret, covert, stealthy, furtive, clandestine, surreptitious, underhanded mean done without attracting observation. secret implies concealment on any grounds for any motive. met at a secret location covert stresses the fact of not being open or declared. covert intelligence operations stealthy suggests taking pains to avoid being seen or heard especially in some misdoing. the stealthy step of a burglar furtive implies a sly or cautious stealthiness. lovers exchanging furtive glances clandestine implies secrecy usually for an evil, illicit, or unauthorized purpose and often emphasizes the fear of being discovered. a clandestine meeting of conspirators surreptitious applies to action or behavior done secretly often with skillful avoidance of detection and in violation of custom, law, or authority. the surreptitious stockpiling of weapons underhanded stresses fraud or deception. an underhanded trick

Examples of stealthy in a Sentence

the stealthy movements of the crocodile cats are among the stealthiest of stalkers

Recent Examples on the Web

Halfway through the 10-day Philippines expedition, fatigue crept into the team, stealthy and wearing as nitrogen bubbles. Ben Goldfarb, Smithsonian, "Illuminating the Ocean’s Teeming Twilight Zone, Before It Disappears," 14 Apr. 2018 As a longtime kayak angler, Mr. Ferrell was used to sitting while unknowingly paddling over fish, squandering opportunities for a stealthy approach. John Clarke, WSJ, "The New Fishing Vessel of Choice? Stand-Up Paddleboards," 15 Aug. 2018 Dressed in head-to-toe black, Jolie cut a stealthy image, with her classic handbag suggesting a trace of Old Hollywood glamour. Edward Barsamian, Vogue, "Angelina Jolie’s Secret Style Weapon? The Top-Handle Tote," 15 Aug. 2018 Designed to be 560-feet– long and house 16 Trident II D5 missiles fired from 44-foot-long missile tubes, Columbia-Class submarines will be engineered as a stealthy, high-tech nuclear deterrent able to quietly patrol the global undersea domain. Kris Osborn, Fox News, "Navy mulls acceleration of first nuclear-armed Columbia ballistic missile sub," 30 May 2018 If anything, this beloved, prolific Japanese auteur had pulled off an upset as stealthy and light-fingered as his movie, which follows a makeshift family of supermarket thieves dwelling in cramped but loving quarters. Justin Chang,, "The wonderful, improbable Palme d'Or triumph of Hirokazu Kore-eda's 'Shoplifters' at Cannes," 21 May 2018 The aircraft will be stealthy and on the larger side, due to the need to store fuel and weapons internally to preserve the jet’s radar-evading shape. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "France, Germany Teaming Up to Build Superfighter," 21 June 2018 Kerry has been on an aggressive yet stealthy mission to preserve [the deal], using his deep lists of contacts gleaned during his time as the top US diplomat to try to apply pressure on the Trump administration from the outside ... James Hohmann, Washington Post, "The Daily 202: Five overshadowed stories spotlight Trump’s domestic priorities," 8 May 2018 Elite troops carved a stealthy path through dense forest foliage. Laura King,, "Poland sees opportunity and peril in NATO summit and Trump-Putin meeting," 9 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'stealthy.' 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 stealthy

1565, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for stealthy

Last Updated

8 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for stealthy

The first known use of stealthy was in 1565

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More Definitions for stealthy



English Language Learners Definition of stealthy

: quiet and secret in order to avoid being noticed


\ˈstel-thē \
stealthier; stealthiest

Kids Definition of stealthy

: done in a sly or secret manner

Other Words from stealthy

stealthily \-​thə-​lē \ adverb … he moved stealthily and silently, staying in the shadows … — Lois Lowry, The Giver

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More from Merriam-Webster on stealthy

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for stealthy

Spanish Central: Translation of stealthy

Nglish: Translation of stealthy for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of stealthy for Arabic Speakers

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