surreptitious

adjective
sur·​rep·​ti·​tious | \ ˌsər-əp-ˈti-shəs How to pronounce surreptitious (audio) , ˌsə-rəp-, sə-ˌrep-\

Definition of surreptitious

1 : done, made, or acquired by stealth : clandestine
2 : acting or doing something clandestinely : stealthy a surreptitious glance

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Other Words from surreptitious

surreptitiously adverb

Choose the Right Synonym for surreptitious

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 surreptitious in a Sentence

The letter didn't offer up the jewels, only shadowy suggestions about their disappearance, claiming that [heiress, Carolyn] Skelly, in a surreptitious trading of parcels with "a man in an ankle-length tweed overcoat," had left a bag full of jewelry on the floor at J.F.K. — Mark Seal, Vanity Fair, December 2001 In the early evening as we gathered in the lobby beneath mounted elk heads and bear skins, the lights of the chandelier flickered mysteriously. But the teacher and I both spied the surreptitious action of the desk clerk, whose sheepish smile acknowledged that one brief hotel mystery had been solved. Other signs of pranking there included a "ghost" photo (displayed in a lobby album) that the clerk confided to me was staged, and some pennies, placed on the back of a men's room toilet, that from time to time would secretly become rearranged to form messages—like the word "why?" that I encountered. — Joe Nickell, Skeptical Inquirer, September/October 2000 The next week offered [FBI agent] Wiser the opportunity he had been waiting for. Ames was leaving the country, going to Ankara for a weeklong international conference on drugs. Wiser went to Bryant for permission to run a … surreptitious search of Ames' garbage. But the chief was dead set against it. — Tim Weiner et al., Rolling Stone, 29 June 1995 She had a surreptitious relationship with her employee. a private investigator adept at taking surreptitious pictures of adulterous couples
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Recent Examples on the Web

The attempted cleanup has had an unintended impact and might even be exacerbating the problem of surreptitious ads aimed at underage users. Mark Bergen, The Seattle Times, "Kidfluencers’ rampant YouTube marketing creates minefield for Google," 24 Mar. 2019 The indictment says the surreptitious campaign was organized by the Internet Research Agency, a Russian troll farm financed by companies controlled by Yevgeny Prigozhin, a wealthy businessman with ties to President Vladimir Putin. Eric Tucker, The Seattle Times, "AP FACT CHECK: Trump’s untruths on Russia probe, wall, jobs," 6 Feb. 2019 But Apple's new policy seems to go beyond obviously abusive cases of surreptitious cryptocurrency mining. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "Apple just banned cryptocurrency mining on iOS devices," 11 June 2018 Instead, countries such as Tanzania, Sudan, Zambia and Mozambique are making their ties more surreptitious, say diplomats and defense-industry analysts. Joe Parkinson, WSJ, "Never Take Their Photos: Tracking the Commandos, North Korea’s Secret Export," 9 Dec. 2018 More than mere sustenance, food is a surreptitious means of introducing serious subjects. Alex Bhattacharji, WSJ, "David Chang’s Culinary Universe Is Still Growing," 2 Nov. 2018 Their suspicions about turning part of Toronto into a corporate test bed were triggered, at first, by the company’s history of unethical corporate practices and surreptitious data collection. Casey Newton, The Verge, "Facebook has a growing morale problem," 15 Nov. 2018 According to the indictment, the surreptitious campaign was organized by the Internet Research Agency, a Russian troll farm financed by companies controlled by Yevgeny Prigozhin, a wealthy businessman with ties to President Vladimir Putin. Hope Yen, The Seattle Times, "Fact-checking President Trump on migrants, Saudis, Hispanic vote," 22 Oct. 2018 Even more troubling, what could hackers find out about you with full, surreptitious access to your phone? Eric Limer, Popular Mechanics, "When This Stolen Phone Spies on Its Thief, The Results Are Riveting," 16 Dec. 2016

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for surreptitious

Middle English, from Latin surrepticius, from surreptus, past participle of surripere to snatch secretly, from sub- + rapere to seize — more at rapid

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Dictionary Entries near surreptitious

surrenderee

surrenderor

surrendry

surreptitious

surreverence

surrey

Surrey

Statistics for surreptitious

Last Updated

10 Apr 2019

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Time Traveler for surreptitious

The first known use of surreptitious was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for surreptitious

surreptitious

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of surreptitious

: done in a secret way

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