Surreptitious

Credit: Robert Couse-Baker, Flickr

Surreptitious is an adjective that can describe any behaviour that is intentionally sneaky, stealthy and secretive. Spying, eavesdropping and prying are all surreptitious actions, and as well as this, in its adverb form one can be watched surreptitiously from afar without awareness of being watched, and even walk surreptitiously, following someone without their knowledge and taking particular care to ensure they won’t find out.

Even an animal can be surreptitious in its movements, which is essential for hunting. There are few who haven’t witnessed a cat slowly stalking its prey, sneaking up silently to catch it unaware. It is through displaying this stealth that the animal becomes surreptitious.

Pronunciation: SIR-IP-TISH-ISS.

Ability to seamlessly incorporate into every-day writing: 9/10 (Extremely easy)

Example of use:
As the cat slinked along the hot pavement, stalking its unfortunate victim, its shadow followed surreptitiously in turn beside it.

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