V2 Vocabulary Building Dictionary
Definition: done in quiet secrecy, and making sure not to be observed
Synonyms: sneaky, covert, hidden, secret, stealthy, underhanded, undercover, clandestine, furtive
Antonyms: open, public, forthright
Tips: Surreptitious is derived from the Latin surrepticius, which means "to secretly seize." Surreptitious is used to refer to sneaky or secret actions. The related adverb surreptitiously describes actions done in secret. Surreptitious is synonymous with clandestine and furtive. Surreptitious and furtive both have an element of stealth and secrecy. Clandestine is a fun adjective to use to describe behavior that is "spy like" or involves espionage. Use the adverb surreptitiously to describe secretive behavior--it is a better adverb than clandestinely or furtively.
He has a surreptitious smoking habit that very few people know about. (hidden, secret)
The investigative reporter uncovered the company's surreptitious plan to cheat its customers. (underhanded, sneaky, clandestine)
She had to be surreptitious when planning her husband's surprise birthday party. (sneaky)
She surreptitiously passed a note to her friend while the professor had his back turned. (covertly, stealthily, secretly) adverb
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