stealthier; stealthiest
: slow, deliberate, and secret in action or character
: intended to escape observation : furtive
: designed to produce a very weak radar return
a stealthy airplane
stealthily adverb
stealthiness 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 Theft of up to $30 million from L.A. vault was seamless, sophisticated, stealthy. Defne Karabatur, Los Angeles Times, 6 Apr. 2024 Chris recommends Michelle try this recipe for Beef and Bacon Stew, which includes a stealthy addition of miso for extra umami depth. The Bon Appétit Staff & Contributors, Bon Appétit, 29 Feb. 2024 Turns out, the Oppenheimer star, who is famously press shy, treats the event like any other awards ceremony—with a tasteful (and super stealthy) eye towards tailoring, which is always meant to seamlessly blend in, not stand out. Christian Allaire, Vogue, 11 Mar. 2024 The other color, Pale Blue Metallic, is far more subtle as the name implies, and would be a better choice for those who’d like to be a little more stealthy in their Taycan. Tim Stevens, Robb Report, 11 Mar. 2024 While Carewe’s renown extended well past his actual career, his baby brother Wallace was stealthy as a tortoise. Erik Himmelsbach-Weinstein, Los Angeles Times, 7 Mar. 2024 Stanley released two Easter Quencher Tumblers that sold out fast, even with the company's attempt to make the drop as stealthy as possible at 12 p.m. ET on Tuesday. Emilee Coblentz, USA TODAY, 7 Mar. 2024 With its sleek silhouette and stealthy attitude (there’s not a logo in sight!), Styles’s bag is very much a unisex design. Christian Allaire, Vogue, 22 Feb. 2024 Stalking Ability Tigers are sleek, stealthy, and come with their own camouflage. Matthew Every, Field & Stream, 21 Feb. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'stealthy.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1565, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of stealthy was in 1565

Dictionary Entries Near stealthy

Cite this Entry

“Stealthy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


stealthier; stealthiest
: slow, deliberate, and secret in action or character
: intended to escape observation : furtive
stealthily adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on stealthy

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