For example someone is looking to circumvent contacting the local club board by going to the head office to remove club membership as to not draw attention, in other words just getting it removed to not be hassled by the local club members for example or reduce the possibility for peace’s sake.

“not wanting to draw attention” was what I was thinking but I think there’s something more eloquent/smarter sounding.

  • MOD NOTE: Answers go in the answer box, not the comment box.
    – tchrist
    Commented Aug 23, 2020 at 20:20

6 Answers 6


[Wanting] to keep a low profile is a common expression for this.

keep a low profile

  • to avoid attracting attention to yourself:

He's been in a little trouble recently so he's trying to keep a low profile.

[Cambridge Dictionary]

There is also to keep your head down, which carries the sense of avoiding (a real threat of) trouble:

keep your head down

  • to try to avoid trouble or involvement in a difficult or dangerous situation by behaving in a quiet way, so that people will not notice you

After unity, he had little time for Christian Democrats who had kept their heads down under the old regime.

[Collins CoBuild Dictionary]

Any clandestine approach to an operation could be said to be

backstairs ('backdoor' usually implies dodginess)

backstairs [adjective]

  • involving intrigue or scandal; secret


or a sub-rosa activity

sub-rosa [adjective]

  • secretive, private

sub rosa [adverb]

  • in confidence: secretly


And there is always the very safe option low-key:

low-key [adjective]

  • not elaborate, showy, or intensive; modest or restrained. [discreet]

their wedding was a very quiet, low-key affair


  • Say that the usual practice if a member wants to remove their membership is to contact their local club and this is what the head office would also recommend the customer contact the local club. If you had to explain to them why you’d like the circumvent the local club and have the head office to it I don’t feel “I want to keep a low profile” as a reason why would sound right or “keep your head down”.
    – GeorgeMack
    Commented Aug 23, 2020 at 18:34

I also want to say "Inconspicuous" but for some reason @desbest's answer was downvoted. I will explain my answer here. According to the Cambridge dictionary, Inconspicuous, adjective, means:

not easily or quickly noticed or seen, or not attracting attention:

So, you can say "He tried to be as inconspicuous as possible"

You can also say stealthily (Cambridge dictionary):

quietly and carefully in order not to be seen or heard:

"He moved around the building stealthily"

You can also have the adverb form of Inconspicuous, "inconspicuously" and the adjective form of stealthily, "stealthy".


That behaviour is described by this sense of discreet:

// followed at a discreet distance

In other words, you have to approach somebody in order to get something changed (you're not being clandestine, where nobody else knows), but you only want the person you're approaching to know about the problem, and not anybody else.

You get something done, but not in a way that causes any kind of public or political issues, or even any awareness.

I talked to a particular person in private, because I wanted to be discreet.

  • As already mentioned. Commented Aug 24, 2020 at 11:58
  • @EdwinAshworth As a synonymous mention in passing in the definition of a different word. I feel that discreet is a more appropriate word than the phrase low-key (something I wouldn't use in this context), so I called it out specifically, along with it's own definition and commentary. Commented Aug 24, 2020 at 13:41
  • @EdwinAshworth I disagree that it was mentioned in any active sense. It was simply part of a definition of another word that was explicitly mentioned. When answers of this type are given, it's the explicitly defined words that are given—or other words that are explicitly mentioned in the narrative. I would consider it of no more import than a word being mentioned in a comment, and perhaps even less import because it wasn't consciously called out. We will have to agree to disagree. (I expect nobody to have to mention "my use" of unobtrusive or unnoticeable in any of their answers.) Commented Aug 24, 2020 at 16:50

Your question does not make a moral judgement about why it is desireable to avoid being noticed. I offer three possibilities, in order of most negative to most positive connotations ("furtive" suggests a thief, but "stealth" can have an arguably good purpose in a war effort, for example):

Furtive (of people) behaving secretly and often dishonestly, or (of actions) done secretly and often dishonestly: "I saw him cast a furtive glance at the woman at the table to his right."

Surreptitious done secretly, without anyone seeing or knowing: "She seemed to be listening to what I was saying, but I couldn't help noticing her surreptitious glances at the clock."

Stealthy quiet and careful in order not to be seen or heard
Also Stealth: movement that is quiet and careful in order to avoid notice, or secret or indirect action




not clearly visible or attracting attention.

That word suits your example as it describes someone who does something without wanting to draw attention to themselves, in your case, the local club.

  • I have edited my answer
    – desbest
    Commented Aug 27, 2020 at 2:49

The thought of “not wanting to draw attention” is adequately expressed by "lying low".

X is looking to cancel his club membership while lying low.


lie low

If you are lying low, you are hiding or not drawing attention to yourself. [informal]

Far from lying low, Kuti became more outspoken than ever.

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