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 Four astronauts arrived at the International Space Station this week with a peculiar stowaway on board: Baby Yoda. Sophie Lewis, CBS News, "Baby Yoda plays key role on historic SpaceX mission to International Space Station," 17 Nov. 2020 An interstellar ark transporting the last humans on Earth to a new home inadvertently brings along a shape-shifting alien stowaway in Breach, a new sci-fi action film starring Bruce Willis and directed by John Suits. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Bruce Willis returns to space to kick some alien derriere in Breach trailer," 11 Nov. 2020 One possibility is that the viral protein becomes a kind of stowaway, using the human protein to shuttle itself into the mitochondria of human cells. Mark Johnson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Probing coronavirus secrets "so we're in a better position to attack SARS3 when it comes"," 15 Oct. 2020 First, the stowaway takes to the runway, with the lights along the tarmac. Krista Stevens, Longreads, "Risking Everything for a Better Life," 10 Aug. 2020 Mr Lai, who arrived in Hong Kong from mainland China as a 12-year-old stowaway and worked his way up from factory hand to media tycoon, is the most high-profile of 25 people arrested so far under the new law. The Economist, "In the party’s sights Jimmy Lai’s arrest is a blow to press freedom in Hong Kong," 15 Aug. 2020 By the time the landing gear opens—often, over a pretty little part of South West London that happens to sit under a flight path to Heathrow—the typical plane stowaway is already dead. Krista Stevens, Longreads, "Risking Everything for a Better Life," 10 Aug. 2020 The product’s breathable, moisture-wicking Lycra and recycled nylon fabric keeps skin fresh and dry while the side and back pockets protect stowaway items—smartphone, keys, vintage iPod—from slipping, even during the most high-intensity workouts. Lindsey Olander, Condé Nast Traveler, "The Best Bike Shorts to Wear This Summer," 15 June 2020 Somehow, the most competent person onboard appears to be an officious middle-aged passenger named Karen (the wonderful Rebecca Front, from The Thick of It) who may or may not be a stowaway. Judy Berman, Time, "HBO's Avenue 5 Transports Veep Creator Armando Iannucci's Dark, Profane Humor to Outer Space," 16 Jan. 2020

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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Time Traveler for stowaway

Time Traveler

The first known use of stowaway was in 1848

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Statistics for stowaway

Last Updated

22 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Stowaway.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Dec. 2020.

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More Definitions for stowaway


How to pronounce stow away (audio)

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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