surreptitious

adjective
sur·rep·ti·tious | \ ˌsər-əp-ˈti-shəs , 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

Oleg Deripaska and Konstantin Kilimnik: Perhaps even more suspicious are Manafort’s surreptitious contacts with two Russian nationals during the campaign. Andrew Prokop, Vox, "Does Mueller think Paul Manafort is the key to collusion?," 15 June 2018 Not one to take no for an answer, Burbank tried some surreptitious application of ketchup on his hot dog. CBS News, "Ketchup, a sweet and sour love story," 1 July 2018 Then, in an occurrence that defied all odds, two Tangiermen making a surreptitious beer run to Crisfield happened to notice something afloat in the rough water, and swung around for a closer look. Earl Swift, Outside Online, "The Incredible True Story of the Henrietta C.," 20 June 2018 Last July and August one or more people used the Docker Hub account docker123321 to upload three publicly available images that contained surreptitious code for mining cryptocurrencies. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "Backdoored images downloaded 5 million times finally removed from Docker Hub," 14 June 2018 In time, perhaps, the surreptitious payments Adidas is alleged to have arranged may be allowed in broad daylight. Tim Sullivan, The Courier-Journal, "Rice's commission may want to take advantage of Skechers suing Adidas," 11 May 2018 The enrichment process has become easier, which makes controlling nuclear weapons harder Both Iran and North Korea have developed surreptitious enrichment networks for producing nuclear material. Umair Irfan, Vox, "Uranium enrichment will be a key point in talks with North Korea. Here’s what it is.," 11 June 2018 James Barron, 27, of Ellijay, was charged Friday with surreptitious recording of intimate parts, which is a felony, according to a news release by the Milton Police Department. Zachary Hansen, ajc, "Police arrest man who allegedly took upskirt photos of woman in Milton Walmart," 25 May 2018 She wasn’t bothered by the surreptitious phone-cleaning. Katherine Bindley, WSJ, "Those Red Alert Bubbles on Your Phone Are Driving Your Loved One Crazy," 25 May 2018

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

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Last Updated

11 Sep 2018

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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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to deposit or conceal in a hiding place

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