[ fur-tiv ]
/ ˈfɜr tɪv /


taken, done, used, etc., surreptitiously or by stealth; secret: a furtive glance.
sly; shifty: a furtive manner.

Origin of furtive

1480–90; < Latin furtīvus, equivalent to furt(um) theft (compare fūr thief) + -īvus -ive

Related forms

fur·tive·ly, adverbfur·tive·ness, noun
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Examples from the Web for furtiveness

British Dictionary definitions for furtiveness


/ (ˈfɜːtɪv) /


characterized by stealth; sly and secretive

Derived Forms

furtively, adverbfurtiveness, noun

Word Origin for furtive

C15: from Latin furtīvus stolen, clandestine, from furtum a theft, from fūr a thief; related to Greek phōr thief
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012