American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- adj. Characterized by stealth; surreptitious.
- adj. Expressive of hidden motives or purposes; shifty. See Synonyms at secret.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- Stolen; obtained by theft.
- Stealthy; thief-like.
GNU Webster's 1913
- adj. Stolen; obtained or characterized by stealth; sly; secret; stealthy.
- adj. marked by quiet and caution and secrecy; taking pains to avoid being observed
- adj. secret and sly or sordid
- From French furtif ("stealthy"), From Latin fūrtīvus ("stolen"), from fūrtum ("theft"), from fūr ("thief"). (Wiktionary)
- French furtif, from Old French, from Latin fūrtīvus, from fūrtum, theft, from fūr, thief; see bher-1 in Indo-European roots. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“She must have heard my steps on the wood stairs, because by the time I walked through the door, she was sitting on the floor near the bed, looking at me with an expression of furtive innocence.”
“Every now and then, a sister slid grey and furtive from the side gate to hand over coins to buy not acarajé but a pink-and-white striped bag bulging with peeled chunks of sugar cane.”
“Re-search Department at the Foreign Office, and engaged in furtive adulteries.”
“While the relationship was private, it can hardly be called furtive or clandestine.”
“He bristled now, recalling their furtive trysts in the woods.”
“In the light of after events, well did Slavin and Yorke recall the furtive appealing glance the hobo threw at Gully; well did they also remember certain of Kilbride's words: "There'll be quite a lot of things crop up in our minds that we'll be wondering we never thought of before.”
“I may say that I was quite startled by his manner which I can only describe as furtive and uneasy.”
“If we see this kind of furtive activity in our midst, we are going to be the one pulling guns out of holsters.”
“New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly sent many scrambling when he used "furtive" — meaning "done by stealth," derived from furs, the Latin word for thief — to describe how the Times Square bomber looked in surveillance footage.”
“Bush tortured animals when he was a child, and now he tortures human beings with the same kind of furtive, sniggering, naughty glee.”
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