- The definition of surreptitious is something that is done in secret or that is kept quiet.
An example of surreptitious behavior is sneaking cookies before dinner after you were told not to snack between meals.
surreptitious definition by Webster's New World
- done, gotten, made, etc. in a secret, stealthy way; clandestine
- acting in a secret, stealthy way
Origin: Middle English surrepticious ; from Classical Latin surrepticius ; from surreptus, past participle of surripere, to take away secretly ; from sub- (see sub-) plush rapere, to seize (see rape)
surreptitious definition by American Heritage Dictionary
- Obtained, done, or made by clandestine or stealthy means.
- Acting with or marked by stealth. See Synonyms at secret.
Origin: Middle English, from Latin surreptīcius, from surreptus, past participle of surripere, to take away secretly : sub-, secretly; see sub- + rapere, to seize; see rep- in Indo-European roots.
- surˌrep·tiˈtious·ly adverb
- surˌrep·tiˈtious·ness noun