- 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.
- done, gotten, made, etc. in a secret, stealthy way; clandestine
- acting in a secret, stealthy way
Origin of surreptitiousMiddle English surrepticious ; from Classical Latin surrepticius ; from surreptus, past participle of surripere, to take away secretly ; from sub- (see sub-) + rapere, to seize (see rape)
Origin of surreptitiousMiddle 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.
(comparative more surreptitious, superlative most surreptitious)
From Latin surrepticius (“stolen, furtive, clandestine"), from surreptus, past participle of surripere ("seize secretly, steal, pilfer"), from sub- ("under") + rapere ("to snatch").