on the sly


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Related to on the sly: get on, fall apart, catch up, stay put, turn up, called off

on the sly

Secretly; in a clandestine or furtive manner. Even though he said he'd quit smoking, he still kept up the habit on the sly. The senator had been taking bribes from lobbyists on the sly for years before he was caught.
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on the sly

Fig. secretly and deceptively. She was stealing little bits of money on the sly. Martin was having an affair with the maid on the sly.
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on the sly

Furtively, secretly, as in She's always eating cookies on the sly. The adjective sly, which means "cunning" or "crafty," is here used as a noun. [c. 1800]
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do something on the ˈsly

do something secretly: She didn’t seem to have much appetite for dinner. I wonder if she’s been eating chocolates on the sly? OPPOSITE: (out) in(to) the open
See also: on, sly, something

on the sly

mod. secretly and deceptively. She was stealing little bits of money on the sly.
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on the sly

In a way intended to escape notice: took extra payments on the sly.
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