- taken, done, used, etc., surreptitiously or by stealth; secret: a furtive glance.
- sly; shifty: a furtive manner.
Origin of furtive
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for furtive
He fancied himself a Marxist, lived in rooming houses under aliases and was a furtive, nasty man.Read This Book to Understand Lee Harvey Oswald
August 2, 2013
Here is real, unmistakable nastiness of a fetid, furtive kind, whispered in corners after a cautious glance over the shoulder.Can the Holocaust be Funny?
April 6, 2013
The handwriting clearly belonged to an unstable, conniving, furtive, shallow creep.The John Edwards Verdict Waiting Game
May 26, 2012
And it is Mark and Scott—not “Chad and Ted”—who partake of cigarettes and “furtive man-on-man action.”Best New York Times Corrections Ever: 'The Shining,' Twilight Sparkle & More
February 3, 2012
Sanger turned birth control from a furtive, underground pursuit into an international movement.What Happened to Labor?
September 4, 2011
And in the low bushes could be discerned the lurking, furtive, shadowy jackals.
Told under the breath, with furtive glances to right and to left.
How noisy and romping the brook was; how capricious, how playful, how furtive!A Little Book of Profitable Tales
The pink plump face was contorted in a furtive grimace of deprecation.The Black Bag
Louis Joseph Vance
I stayed with her, casting displeased and furtive glances at the Prince.My Double Life
- characterized by stealth; sly and secretive
Word Origin and History for furtive
late 15c. (implied in furtively), from French furtif, from Latin furtivus "stolen, hidden, secret," from furtum "theft, robbery," from fur (genitive furis) "thief," probably from PIE *bhor-, from root *bher- (1) "to carry" (see infer). Related: Furtiveness.