[fur-tiv] /ˈfɜr tɪv/
taken, done, used, etc., surreptitiously or by stealth; secret:
"a furtive glance."
sly; shifty:
"a furtive manner."
1480–90; < Latin furtīvus, equivalent to furt(um) theft (compare fūr thief) + -īvus -ive
Related forms
furtively, adverb
furtiveness, noun
1. clandestine, covert. 2. underhand, cunning.
Example Sentences for furtive
Still, here was the author's attempt to allow opposites-peril and bliss, furtive lovers and traditional family-to harmonize.
The reasons for his action have been lost in a confounding tangle of furtive transactions and deliberately destroyed evidence.
My furtive hour-long expeditions gave way to daylong escapes.
Every office encounter includes a furtive glance at the papers left out on a desk.
But soon these furtive maneuvers might not be necessary.
The nature of her occupation kept her to furtive corners and the dark side of streets.
He had grizzled hair, and a certain uneasy, half-furtive look about the eyes.
It was in every pair of eyes that met other eyes in furtive roving.
Entrapment has long been a factor in the enforcement of vice laws, which seek to punish behavior that is furtive and widespread.
While the relationship was private, it can hardly be called furtive or clandestine.
British Dictionary definitions for furtive
furtive (ˈfɜːtɪv)
characterized by stealth; sly and secretive
[C15: from Latin furtīvus stolen, clandestine, from furtum a theft, from fūr a thief; related to Greek phōr thief]

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Word Origin and History for furtive
late 15c., from Fr. furtif, from L. furtivus "stolen, hidden, secret," from furtum "theft, robbery," from fur (gen. furis) "thief." Related: Furtiveness
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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