Definition of stealth in English:



  • 1[mass noun] Cautious and surreptitious action or movement.

    ‘the silence and stealth of a hungry cat’
    ‘privatization by stealth’
    • ‘Surprisingly the fundamental change of Indonesia's government structure has been introduced by stealth.’
    • ‘He admitted that he captured my photo by stealth while I was hosting a chat session.’
    • ‘Rather, the commission is likely to pursue consumption taxation by stealth and indirection.’
    • ‘I do find it dishonest that Harper is pushing this effectively by stealth in this campaign.’
    • ‘Now the proliferation of public-private partnerships pushes us further down this track, towards privatisation by stealth.’
    • ‘The Prime Minister has, in fact, carried out a coup d' état by stealth.’
    • ‘The danger is that the Tralee hospital will be starved of investment and, by implication, be downgraded by stealth over a period of time.’
    • ‘If this looks suspiciously like renationalisation by stealth, then at least this represents a positive move, considering the industry's poor record since privatisation.’
    • ‘They also recommend sufficient time for public debate to occur - fundamental change should not occur by stealth.’
    • ‘The proper thing for these people to do is to resign and stand for election, rather than continue attempting to impose their ideological agenda by stealth from within the government.’
    • ‘The district's cottage hospitals are being undermined by a policy of closure by stealth, a health watchdog has warned.’
    • ‘We must respect property rights in this country, and unfortunately the Resource Management Act is increasingly becoming a vehicle for socialisation by stealth.’
    • ‘The over riding concern expressed by the elected members was that the County Manager was in effect and by stealth easing them all into retirement.’
    • ‘Our feeling is one of powerlessness - and that must sooner or later transform into civil unrest - as it should do when democracy is threatened or simply taken by stealth.’
    • ‘He has done this by stealth, by chipping away little by little and creating an Australia in his own image.’
    • ‘It is legislation by stealth, it is illegitimate, and thankfully it seems to be working less well recently.’
    • ‘Thirty-four years later the issue is being reopened by stealth.’
    • ‘These objectives, in the hands of the present Government, will almost inevitably impact on the activities of individuals and groups through regulation by stealth.’
    • ‘I agree, it doesn't necessarily mean much if the money earned is unsubstantial - but it's still commercialisation by stealth.’
    • ‘Still, the visual dissimilarity among works and within mediums is offset by a coolly consistent emotional tenor that overtakes the viewer as if by stealth.’
    furtiveness, secretiveness, secrecy, surreptitiousness, sneakiness, slyness, covertness, stealthiness, clandestineness
    View synonyms
  • 2[as modifier] (chiefly of aircraft) designed in accordance with technology which makes detection by radar or sonar difficult.

    ‘a stealth bomber’
    • ‘Terrorism works to eclipse military use of ultimate weapons like stealth aircraft, precision-guided munitions, and nukes.’
    • ‘Last month, the Herald Tribune newspaper ran a full-page colour advert for Northrop Grumman, the makers of the stealth bomber and one of the world's big arms manufacturers.’
    • ‘With the stealth technology in our hands, we have designed countermeasures.’
    • ‘The cost for a single B2 stealth bomber is in the range of billions of dollars.’
    • ‘A British research and development company, which claims to have invented a method to detect stealth aircraft, has clammed up on details about its technology.’
    • ‘But while one of these electro-optical sights will see a stealth aircraft, a radar would not be able to point it in the right direction.’
    • ‘Named after the stealth aircraft, this edgy band hails from Baltimore and not the UK as their music seems to tell us.’
    • ‘After the Gulf War he was put in charge of a taskforce code named ‘Al Babel’ to develop stealth technology to make aircraft and missiles undetectable on radar.’
    • ‘The same flight control radar systems are used in helicopters, low-flying private planes, light aircraft and stealth bombers.’
    • ‘Museum officials plan to roll out for permanent public exhibit a B - 2 Spirit stealth bomber.’
    • ‘The B - 2 bomber, commonly known as the stealth bomber, was an ambitious project, to say the least.’
    • ‘THE JSF is intended to set new benchmarks in affordability, availability and supportability for a high-performance stealth aircraft.’
    • ‘In fact, given our advantage in manned aircraft and stealth technology, no enemy is likely to challenge us directly in those areas.’
    • ‘This could become the greatest the legacy of your presidency, perhaps even rivaling our eventual victory in the war on terrorism, and at a cost of much less than that a single stealth bomber.’
    • ‘The US operates a fleet of more than 15,000 aircraft, including 20 stealth bombers in service.’
    • ‘The Pentagon introduced misleading information pertinent to stealth aircraft, space defense, and tactical aircraft.’
    • ‘Most aircraft design schemes call for advances on wing and fuselage shapes pioneered in today's stealth aircraft.’
    • ‘The cause of the attack has been kept vague so far, there were early reports of a U.S. military accident involving a stealth bomber, but nobody's believing that for long.’
    • ‘The development of stealth aircraft has had some transformational effects on airpower.’
    • ‘A conventional aircraft ‘package’ may employ up to 40 aircraft, while a stealth aircraft can conduct the mission by itself.’


Middle English (in the sense ‘theft’): probably representing an Old English word related to steal, + -th.