stow·​away | \ ˈstō-ə-ˌwā How to pronounce stowaway (audio) \

Definition of stowaway

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: one that stows away

stow away

stowed away; stowing away; stows away

Definition of stow away (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to secrete oneself aboard a vehicle as a means of obtaining transportation

Examples of stowaway in a Sentence

Noun A stowaway was discovered on the ship.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The vehicle, including a few stowaway snowmen, tips the scales at a whopping 1,600 pounds, and some 800,000 cocoa beans went into its creation. Bryan Hood, Robb Report, 21 Dec. 2021 What followed was a dramatic narrative involving negligence, heroic rescues and a stowaway beetle. David Reamer, Anchorage Daily News, 28 Nov. 2021 Amidst the quibbling, my brother’s girlfriend, like a stowaway onboard, has been all but forgotten. Ali Francis, Bon Appétit, 24 Nov. 2021 The primary suspect is the quagga mussel, which arrived in the Great Lakes as a stowaway in the ballast tanks of freighters that carried them across the Atlantic. Dan Egan, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 13 Aug. 2011 Lai, who is in his 70s, came to Hong Kong in his youth, as a poor stowaway from mainland China, and rose to fortune in the garment industry. Rachel Cheung, The Atlantic, 24 June 2021 Lai, the flamboyant businessman and founder of Hong Kong’s pro-democracy Apple Daily newspaper, arrived in Hong Kong at age twelve as a stowaway on a boat from the Chinese mainland. Kevin D. Williamson, National Review, 17 June 2021 Theories range from a depressed pilot to accidental shoot-down to a stowaway terrorist, but conclusive proof is lacking. Michael Goldstein, Forbes, 18 May 2021 On a mission headed to Mars, an unintended stowaway accidentally causes severe damage to the spaceship’s life support systems. Kathleen Christiansen,, 18 Apr. 2021

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


1848, in the meaning defined above


1879, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of stowaway was in 1848

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Last Updated

29 Dec 2021

Cite this Entry

“Stowaway.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for stowaway



English Language Learners Definition of stowaway

: someone who hides on a ship, airplane, etc., in order to travel without paying or being seen


stow·​away | \ ˈstō-ə-ˌwā How to pronounce stowaway (audio) \

Kids Definition of stowaway

: a person who hides on a vehicle (as a ship) to travel without paying or being seen

More from Merriam-Webster on stowaway

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for stowaway

Nglish: Translation of stowaway for Spanish Speakers


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