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How to pronounce furtive (audio)


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Dictionary definition of furtive

Attempting to avoid notice or attention by sly or cautious stealthiness, typically because of guilt.
"He had a furtive glance around the room before stealing the money."

Detailed meaning of furtive

It can also be used to describe people who have a sneaky or guilty appearance. For example, someone sneaking around in the middle of the night might be described as "furtive." Additionally, a person who is trying to hide something might have a "furtive glance" or a "furtive expression." Overall, the word carries a sense of secrecy, slyness, and guilt.

Example sentences containing furtive

1. She had a furtive look in her eyes as she slipped out of the room.
2. He tried to be furtive as he snuck into the building after hours.
3. He crept furtively out of the office with the company's profits stowed in his rucksack.
4. The thief was furtive in his movements, trying not to draw attention to himself.
5. She had a furtive glance at her phone, checking for messages.
6. He had a furtive expression on his face as he answered the question.

History and etymology of furtive

The adjective 'furtive' finds its etymological roots in the Latin word 'furtivus,' which is derived from 'furtum,' meaning 'theft.' Therefore, 'furtive' etymologically conveys the idea of behavior associated with theft or illicit activities. It describes actions or movements that are characterized by sly or cautious stealthiness, typically because of guilt or a desire to avoid notice or attention. The term 'furtive' emphasizes the element of secrecy and hidden intent, reflecting actions taken covertly to evade detection or suspicion. Its etymology underscores the notion of behaviors reminiscent of thieves or wrongdoers, highlighting the inclination to act surreptitiously, often due to a sense of wrongdoing or fear of being caught.

Quiz: Find the meaning of furtive

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Further usage examples of furtive

1. The couple had a furtive meeting in the park, trying to avoid being seen.
2. She had a furtive smile as she whispered a secret to her friend.
3. The criminal had a furtive escape, trying to avoid being caught by the police.
4. She had a furtive look in her eyes as she closed the door behind her.
5. He had a furtive manner as he walked down the street, looking over his shoulder.
6. The spy had a furtive approach, trying to gather information without being detected.
7. His furtive glances around the room betrayed his nervousness as he tried to avoid eye contact.
8. She made a furtive escape from the party, slipping out quietly without saying goodbye to anyone.
9. Their furtive meeting in the dimly lit alley went unnoticed by passersby, allowing them to exchange valuable information.
10. A furtive whisper between the two conspirators caught her ear, making her suspicious of their intentions.
11. He wore a furtive expression on his face, making it clear that he had something to hide.
12. The thief made a furtive entrance into the museum, avoiding security cameras and guards.
13. A furtive smile played on his lips, suggesting that he had a secret agenda.
14. She exchanged a furtive glance with her partner in the courtroom, silently communicating their strategy.
15. Furtive actions, such as sneaking around and avoiding eye contact, raised suspicion among the onlookers.
16. He made a furtive escape from the building, slipping out the back door to avoid detection.
17. A furtive transaction took place in the alley, with money changing hands quickly and discreetly.
18. Their furtive behavior, including hushed conversations and secretive meetings, was seen as odd by their colleagues.
19. She noticed a furtive gesture from the suspect, which prompted her to alert the authorities.
20. His furtive movements as he reached for something in his pocket drew the attention of the security personnel.
21. A furtive meeting in the darkened alley allowed them to exchange crucial information without being seen.
22. They exchanged furtive texts, discussing their plans in coded language to avoid detection.
23. The furtive plan to steal the classified documents was executed with military precision, leaving no evidence behind.
24. Furtive glances filled the room as everyone tried to assess the mood and intentions of the powerful guest.
25. He attempted a furtive exit from the party, slipping away without attracting attention from the host.
26. A furtive attempt to eavesdrop on the confidential conversation next door was foiled when they realized they were being watched.



secretive, open, honest, transparent


GRE 8 (Graduate Record Examination), Deceit and Pretense, Behavior and Conduct, Clandestine and Conniving, Duplicity and Deceit, Manipulation and Deception, Dishonesty and Concealment

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