1. Intended to escape observation, typically because of guilt or a belief that discovery would lead to trouble; secretive: a furtive glance
2. Suggestive of guilty nervousness: a furtive manner
Synonyms: surreptitious, clandestine, sneaky, insincere
Example from As It Is In Heaven by David Rakoff: “That crazy, callow, buoyant feeling couldn’t be further from embarrassment with which I skulk through the terminal at Newark Liberty International just a few short weeks after.”
At social gatherings she’s always lurking in the corners looking slightly furtive.
We exchanged furtive smiles across the table.
He still does furtive good deeds, but when he makes a celebratory air punch, he throws his back out.
TIME MAGAZINE (2004)
The police report said the teen made furtive motions in the back seat, making officers suspicious.
SEATTLE TIMES (2004)
But mostly it was men – men of all sorts and shapes, but the same furtive demeanor.
Kevin Baker DREAMLAND (1999)