[ stoh-uh-wey ]

  1. a person who hides aboard a ship or airplane in order to obtain free transportation or elude pursuers.

Origin of stowaway

First recorded in 1850–55; noun use of verb phrase stow away

Words Nearby stowaway Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use stowaway in a sentence

  • But when England began trading with the Orient, the cockroach grew venturesome, and began putting to sea as a stowaway.

    The Crow's Nest | Clarence Day, Jr.
  • If Bothwell were on board the ship as a stowaway the aspect of affairs was more serious even than we had thought.

    The Pirate of Panama | William MacLeod Raine
  • More likely to be a stowaway on a merchantman and then roustabout on a cattle boat, or some such thing.

    Cap'n Eri | Joseph Crosby Lincoln
  • Two years before this he had been a stowaway from England to America, and he was not discovered for several days.

    Beggars | W. H. (William Henry) Davies
  • The Captain's gaze settled on the stowaway's spotless white shirt and collar.

    West Wind Drift | George Barr McCutcheon

British Dictionary definitions for stowaway


/ (ˈstəʊəˌweɪ) /

  1. a person who hides aboard a vehicle, ship, or aircraft in order to gain free passage

verbstow away
  1. (intr, adverb) to travel in such a way

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

Other Idioms and Phrases with stowaway


Put aside or store something until needed, as in We generally stow away the lawn furniture in the toolshed. [Late 1700s]

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.