con·​fi·​den·​tial | \ ˌkän-fə-ˈden(t)-shəl How to pronounce confidential (audio) \

Definition of confidential

1 : marked by intimacy or willingness to confide a confidential tone
2 : private, secret confidential information
3 : entrusted with confidences a confidential clerk
4 : containing information whose unauthorized disclosure could be prejudicial to the national interest — compare secret, top secret

Other Words from confidential

confidentiality \ ˌkän-​fə-​ˌden(t)-​shē-​ˈa-​lə-​tē How to pronounce confidential (audio) \ noun
confidentially \ ˌkän-​fə-​ˈden(t)-​sh(ə-​)lē How to pronounce confidential (audio) \ adverb

Examples of confidential in a Sentence

These documents are completely confidential. “I have something to tell you,” John said in a confidential tone. Her voice was quiet and confidential. She worked as a confidential secretary to the mayor for many years.
Recent Examples on the Web The sources requested anonymity because the matter is confidential. NBC News, 29 Apr. 2022 The guest list is often confidential and not released to the public until the evening before the grand event. Jailynn Taylor, Essence, 27 Apr. 2022 Calls can be made any time or day and are confidential. San Diego Union-Tribune, 26 Apr. 2022 The settlement is not confidential, but the parties have kept the case quiet to avoid embarrassment, and neither the filing nor the resolution of the case has been previously reported. Olivia Goldhill, STAT, 21 Apr. 2022 Under the law, details about such hospitalizations are confidential. Michael Ruiz, Fox News, 14 Apr. 2022 The letters are confidential, so the 1922 Committee chairman is the only person who knows how many have actually done so. Danica Kirka, The Christian Science Monitor, 13 Apr. 2022 Soloy Helicopters and its insurers are pursuing a financial settlement with Horvath, the details of which are confidential, the company said in a statement. Zaz Hollander, Anchorage Daily News, 3 Apr. 2022 But the persistent pattern of stocks falling in the run-up to big insider sales suggests a more widespread problem: Information that should be confidential is getting out. Liz Hoffman, WSJ, 30 Mar. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'confidential.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of confidential

1759, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for confidential

Latin confīdentia, taken as base of confidence entry 1 + -al entry 1 (perhaps after French confidentiel)

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Time Traveler for confidential

Time Traveler

The first known use of confidential was in 1759

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Dictionary Entries Near confidential



confidential employee

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Statistics for confidential

Last Updated

5 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Confidential.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for confidential


con·​fi·​den·​tial | \ ˌkän-fə-ˈden-shəl How to pronounce confidential (audio) \

Kids Definition of confidential

1 : secret entry 1 sense 1 confidential information
2 : indicating a need for secrecy She spoke in a confidential tone.
3 : trusted with secret matters a confidential assistant

Other Words from confidential

confidentially adverb


con·​fi·​den·​tial | \ ˌkän-fi-ˈden-chəl How to pronounce confidential (audio) \

Legal Definition of confidential

1 : known or conveyed only to a limited number of people a confidential disclosure
2 : marked by or indicative of intimacy, mutual trust, or willingness to confide especially between parties one of whom is in a position of superiority the confidential relationship of doctor and patient
3 : containing information whose unauthorized disclosure could be prejudicial to the national interest

Other Words from confidential

confidentiality \ ˌkän-​fi-​ˌden-​chē-​ˈa-​lə-​tē How to pronounce confidential (audio) \ noun
confidentially adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on confidential

Nglish: Translation of confidential for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of confidential for Arabic Speakers


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