Furtive

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Dictionary Meaning and Definition on 'Furtive'

Furtive Meaning and Definition from WordNet (r) 2.0
    furtive adj
  1. marked by quiet and caution and secrecy; taking pains to avoid being observed; "a furtive manner"; "a lurking prowler"; "a sneak attack"; "stealthy footsteps"; "a surreptitious glance at his watch"; "someone skulking in the shadows" [syn: lurking, skulking, sneak(a), sneaky, stealthy, surreptitious]
  2. secret and sly or sordid; "backstairs gossip"; "his low backstairs cunning"- A.L.Guerard; "backstairs intimacies"; "furtive behavior" [syn: backstair, backstairs]
Furtive Meaning and Definition from Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)
    Furtive \Fur"tive\, a. [L. furtivus, fr. furtum theft, fr. fur thief, akin to ferre to bear: cf. F. furtif. See Fertile.] Stolen; obtained or characterized by stealth; sly; secret; stealthy; as, a furtive look. --Prior. A hasty and furtive ceremony. --Hallam.
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Wikipedia Meaning and Definition on 'Furtive'


Secrecy (also called clandestinity or furtiveness) is the practice of hiding information from certain individuals or groups, perhaps while sharing it with other individuals. That which is kept hidden is known as the secret.

Secrecy is often controversial, depending on the content of the secret, the group or people keeping the secret, and the motivation for secrecy. Secrecy by government entities is often decried as excessive or in promotion of poor operation; excessive revelation of information on individuals can conflict with virtues of privacy and confidentiality.

Animals conceal the location of their den or nest from predators. Squirrels bury nuts, hiding them, and they try to remember their locations later.

Humans attempt to consciously conceal aspects of themselves from others due to shame, or from fear of violence, rejection, harassment, loss of acceptance, or loss of employment. On a deeper level, humans attempt to conceal aspects of their own self which they are not capable of incorporating psychologically into their conscious being. Families sometimes maintain "family secrets", obliging family members never discuss disagreeable issues concerning the family, either with those outside the family and sometimes even within the family. Many "family secrets" are maintained by using a mutually agreed-upon construct (an official family story) when speaking with outside members. Agreement to maintain the secret is often coerced through "shaming" and reference to family honor. The information may even be something as trivial as a recipe.

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