\ ˈstel-thē How to pronounce stealthy (audio) \
stealthier; stealthiest

Definition of stealthy

1 : slow, deliberate, and secret in action or character
2a : intended to escape observation : furtive
b : designed to produce a very weak radar return a stealthy airplane

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Other Words from stealthy

stealthily \ ˈstel-​thə-​lē How to pronounce stealthy (audio) \ adverb
stealthiness \ ˈstel-​thē-​nəs How to pronounce stealthy (audio) \ 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 Later that night the lights in the town go dark and a spaceship descends stealthy from the sky. Washington Post, 7 Oct. 2021 That's a lot of vulnerable hosts for a stealthy pathogen. Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN, 5 Oct. 2021 In these environments, a stealthy version of the virus that can slip by antibodies unnoticed might be the one that wins out. Katherine J. Wu, Ed Yong, The Atlantic, 20 Sep. 2021 This could be the small, stealthy, unmanned tanker of CSBA’s dreams. David Axe, Forbes, 16 Sep. 2021 Fairford has special facilities for American bombers, where the planes can get out of the rain and sun, and maintainers can attend to the stealthy, rubbery coating that covers the planes and reduces their radar signature. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, 14 Sep. 2021 Rochon is a stealthy writer, subtly layering in Jamar's grief and Taylor's trauma beneath the surface of her bubbly exterior. Maureen Lee Lenker,, 31 Aug. 2021 Between the hiking trails, the climate, the food and the people, Arizona has a stealthy way of stealing your heart. Melissa Yeager, The Arizona Republic, 14 Aug. 2021 But that’s also precisely why attentive, proactive cybersecurity is so important these days: Smart hackers are a patient bunch and are willing to lie low until it’s the perfect time to strike with a stealthy attack. Rhett Power, Forbes, 28 Feb. 2021

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

1565, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for stealthy

Time Traveler

The first known use of stealthy was in 1565

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Last Updated

17 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Stealthy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for stealthy



English Language Learners Definition of stealthy

: quiet and secret in order to avoid being noticed


\ ˈstel-thē How to pronounce stealthy (audio) \
stealthier; stealthiest

Kids Definition of stealthy

: done in a sly or secret manner

Other Words from stealthy

stealthily \ -​thə-​lē \ adverb … he moved stealthily and silently, staying in the shadows … — Lois Lowry, The Giver

More from Merriam-Webster on stealthy

Nglish: Translation of stealthy for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of stealthy for Arabic Speakers


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