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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Furtive Sample Sentences in News


  • Sex onstage
    Sex that’s furtive, sordid, and even illegal, is on offer in two new productions: Soliciting Temptation and Belleville. Read more on this news related to 'Furtive'
  • Yahoo Reportedly Wants To Replace Google As The Default Search Engine On IPad And IPhone
    Kara Swisher reports that Marissa Mayer is gearing up for a major pitch to Apple. What are Yahoo's chances? Yahoo CEO and former Googler Marissa Mayer is leveling the cannons at her old employer, and the latest clash might end up taking place on furtive territory: Your iPhone. Read Full Story Read more on this news related to 'Furtive'
  • Driving Ambivalence: The Furtive Trend in the Car Industry That Just May Change America as We Know It
    There is a trend spreading across the country--and the world--that is nightmare fuel for the car industry and could transform America into something it's never known before: a world without teenage drivers. Contributor: Timothy Sexton Published: Apr 01, 2014 Read more on this news related to 'Furtive'

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