Adjective "furtive" definition and examples



Definitions and examples


Attempting to avoid notice or attention, typically because of guilt or a belief that discovery would lead to trouble; secretive.
  1. 'he stole a furtive glance at her'
  2. 'Usually this would prompt me to snort: how about the homosexual church officials who preach this stuff in public while leading furtive double lives?'
  3. 'Someone else appears to be indulging in a furtive attempt to see what they can get away with.'
  4. 'Micromounters are looked upon as some sort of secret society that does furtive things under microscopes for inexplicable reasons.'
  5. 'Taking a furtive glance around for his father, Joe considered his next move.'
  6. 'Picking up his briefcase, he headed towards the police station, noticing a little more furtive activity today than usual.'
  7. 'I took a furtive look around, digested the unfamiliar surroundings, and backtracked.'
  8. 'And they do not want male waiters casting furtive looks and breathing down their necks.'
  9. 'We may as well have been poker players, there were so many furtive glances.'
  10. 'As over the wounds of hurt pride and battered citizenship do thousands of furtive conservatives ‘furiously blog’ (in Book's phrase).'
  11. 'There is something in a furtive glance of eyes on the subway, or from the passing crowd that does not tend to permanence.'
  12. 'The ferocious snarl of the Tyrannosaurus Rex has been replaced by a furtive shameful glance.'
  13. 'He casts a furtive, almost embarrassed glance around the nearby area.'
  14. 'The word furtive might have been invented to describe his dodgy demeanour.'
  15. 'Instead it's a candid admission he once lived the furtive lifestyle of a sinister international beer villain.'
  16. 'From the positions of the heads and eyes, do they look honest and straightforward, shy, or furtive and untrustworthy?'
  17. 'The look the officer had given Ian had been furtive, almost guilty, and Ian sensed disapproval in the man's silence.'


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

2. sly; shifty: a furtive manner.

More examples(as adjective)

"goings can be furtive in ways."

"glances can be furtive."

"movements can be furtive."

"people can be furtive."

"ways can be furtive."

More examples++


Early 17th century: from French furtif, -ive or Latin furtivus, from furtum ‘theft’.