con·fi·den·tial | \ ˌkän-fə-ˈden(t)-shəl \

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

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Other words from confidential

confidentiality \ˌkän-fə-ˌden(t)-shē-ˈa-lə-tē \ noun
confidentially \ˌkän-fə-ˈden(t)-sh(ə-)lē \ 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.
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Recent Examples on the Web

The purpose of destruction is to protect the student from improper and unauthorized disclosure of the confidential information contained within the file., "District to destroy specific special education records," 7 July 2018 In response to those regulations, MLHI implemented a number of policies and employee training programs related to the protection of confidential information. Jack Greiner,, "HIPAA laws cracking down on co-worker snooping," 3 July 2018 Hackers may have accessed confidential information for more than 500 people Alaskans who had contact with state public assistance programs in the Nome and Fairbanks regions, in a data breach revealed Thursday by state health officials. Devin Kelly, Anchorage Daily News, "Officials say data breach with links to Russia exposed Alaskan public assistance users to identity theft," 28 June 2018 State oil company Saudi Aramco is aiming to boost production next month to about 10.8 million barrels a day, according to people briefed on the country’s output policy, who asked not to be named discussing confidential information. Jessica Summers,, "Oil Climbs as Huge U.S. Supply Draw Seen Adding to Global Risks," 26 June 2018 This is confidential medical information, of government employees and their families, no less. Rachel Becker, The Verge, "Why we still don’t know what’s going on with ‘sonic attacks’ in Cuba and China," 15 June 2018 Bunin said his office has not released confidential information to anyone about bail hearings. Zach Despart, Houston Chronicle, "Radack accuses public defender of helping lawyers in bail lawsuit against county," 8 June 2018 The government filed its response Tuesday opposing Ethel Shelton’s request over how a confidential information gathered evidence in the case. Becky Jacobs, Post-Tribune, "Prosecutors: Ex-Calumet Township employee's motion for mistrial should be denied," 29 May 2018 The 61-page report, which relied on confidential interviews with dozens of attorneys in the public defender's office, ultimately makes an appeal to the L.A. County Board of Supervisors to fund 15 more attorneys in the office's immigration unit. Marisa Gerber,, "L.A. County public defender's office underserves immigrant community, ACLU report says," 16 May 2018

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.

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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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Phrases Related to confidential

breach of confidentiality

Statistics for confidential

Last Updated

2 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for confidential

The first known use of confidential was in 1759

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English Language Learners Definition of confidential

: secret or private

: showing that you are saying something that is secret or private

: trusted with secret or private information


con·fi·den·tial | \ ˌkän-fə-ˈden-shəl \

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 \

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 \ noun
confidentially adverb

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Comments on confidential

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the setting in which something occurs

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