Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary
1

secret

play
adjective se·cret \ˈsē-krət\

Simple Definition of secret

  • : kept hidden from others : known to only a few people

  • : keeping information hidden from others

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of secret

  1. 1a :  kept from knowledge or view :  hiddenb :  marked by the habit of discretion :  closemouthedc :  working with hidden aims or methods :  undercover <a secret agent>d :  not acknowledged :  unavowed <a secret bride>e :  conducted in secret <a secret trial>

  2. 2 :  remote from human frequentation or notice :  secluded

  3. 3 :  revealed only to the initiated :  esoteric

  4. 4 :  designed to elude observation or detection <a secret panel>

  5. 5 :  containing information whose unauthorized disclosure could endanger national security — compare confidential, top secret

secretly

adverb

Examples of secret in a sentence

  1. Her secret wish is to become a senator.

  2. The message was written in secret code.

  3. I don't know the secret password.

  4. He was sent on a secret mission.

  5. They engaged in secret negotiations with the enemy.

  6. She tried to keep her marriage secret.

  7. They've been very secret about their plans.



Origin and Etymology of secret

Middle English, from Anglo-French secré, secret, from Latin secretus, from past participle of secernere to separate, distinguish, from se- apart + cernere to sift — more at secede, certain


First Known Use: 14th century

Synonym Discussion of secret

secret, covert, stealthy, furtive, clandestine, surreptitious, underhanded mean done without attracting observation. secret implies concealment on any grounds for any motive <met at a secret location>. covert stresses the fact of not being open or declared <covert intelligence operations>. stealthy suggests taking pains to avoid being seen or heard especially in some misdoing <the stealthy step of a burglar>. furtive implies a sly or cautious stealthiness <lovers exchanging furtive glances>. clandestine implies secrecy usually for an evil, illicit, or unauthorized purpose and often emphasizes the fear of being discovered <a clandestine meeting of conspirators>. surreptitious applies to action or behavior done secretly often with skillful avoidance of detection and in violation of custom, law, or authority <the surreptitious stockpiling of weapons>. underhanded stresses fraud or deception <an underhanded trick>.

2

secret

noun se·cret

Simple Definition of secret

  • : a fact or piece of information that is kept hidden from other people

  • : a special or unusual way of doing something to achieve a good result

  • : something that cannot be explained

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of secret

  1. 1a :  something kept hidden or unexplained :  mysteryb :  something kept from the knowledge of others or shared only confidentially with a fewc :  a method, formula, or process used in an art or operation and divulged only to those of one's own company or craft :  trade secretd plural :  the practices or knowledge making up the shared discipline or culture of an esoteric society

  2. 2 :  a prayer traditionally said inaudibly by the celebrant just before the preface of the mass

  3. 3 :  something taken to be a specific or key to a desired end <the secret of longevity>

in secret

  1. :  in a private place or manner

Examples of secret in a sentence

  1. Don't tell him about the party—it's a secret.

  2. I'm going to tell you a secret, but you have to promise not to tell anyone else.

  3. You always look great. What's your secret?

  4. She shared her beauty secrets with the group.

  5. The secret to a good sauce is the base.

  6. the secrets of the universe

  7. one of nature's greatest secrets



14th Century

First Known Use of secret

14th century



SECRET Defined for Kids

1

secret

play
adjective se·cret \ˈsē-krət\

Definition of secret for Students

  1. 1 :  hidden from the knowledge of others <a secret staircase> <Keep your plans secret.>

  2. 2 :  done, made, or working in a way that no other or only a few other people know about <a secret attack> <a secret agent>

secretly

adverb



2

secret

play
noun se·cret

Definition of secret for Students

  1. :  something kept or planned to be kept from others' knowledge





Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up secret? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

mysterious, holy, or spiritual

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

lavender-fields-in-france

Which of these is a synonym of caesura?

megillah rebellion torrent interruption
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ