confidential

adjective

con·​fi·​den·​tial ˌkän-fə-ˈden(t)-shəl How to pronounce confidential (audio)
1
a
: intended for or restricted to the use of a particular person, group, or class : private, secret
confidential information
b
: containing information whose unauthorized disclosure could be prejudicial to the national interest compare secret, top secret
2
: marked by intimacy or willingness to confide
a confidential tone
3
: entrusted with confidences (see confidence sense 4)
a confidential clerk
confidentially 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 three men met in person to discuss Golden-Gottlieb’s confidential complaint and ways to blunt it. Meg James, Los Angeles Times, 17 Feb. 2024 After he was named in confidential Israeli documents last month, The Post found images of Naami online and then used facial recognition software to find a likely match for him in footage from Oct. 7. Joyce Sohyun Lee, Washington Post, 17 Feb. 2024 The specific models in the Ukrainian arsenal remain uncertain, as this technology is typically kept confidential. Vikram Mittal, Forbes, 16 Feb. 2024 Police urge anyone with information about Mary Anne's death to contact Crime Stoppers Victoria at 1800-333-000 or submit a confidential report online at www.crimestoppersvic.com.au. Charna Flam, Peoplemag, 16 Feb. 2024 As per California Public Utilities Commission rules, the costs of the four new microgrid projects will be kept confidential for at least three years. Rob Nikolewski, San Diego Union-Tribune, 14 Feb. 2024 The policy elements that the city still regards as confidential were known in 2020 because sections that were in effect then were among documents filed in a lawsuit that involves a wrongful death claim against the city. Emerson Clarridge, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 12 Feb. 2024 Your identity will remain confidential, ensuring that no one, including your instructors, will ever know if your assignment was commissioned. Sponsored Content, The Mercury News, 9 Feb. 2024 To file a confidential complaint with Wage and Hour, reach out online, by calling the local office or by calling 866-487-9243. David J. Neal, Miami Herald, 31 Jan. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'confidential.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

1740, in the meaning defined at sense 3

Time Traveler
The first known use of confidential was in 1740

Dictionary Entries Near confidential

Cite this Entry

“Confidential.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/confidential. Accessed 2 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition

confidential

adjective
con·​fi·​den·​tial ˌkän-fə-ˈden-chəl How to pronounce confidential (audio)
1
: secret entry 1 sense 1a, private
confidential information
2
: indicating or suggesting closeness : intimate
a confidential tone of voice
3
: trusted with secret matters
a confidential secretary
confidentially adverb

Legal Definition

confidential

adjective
con·​fi·​den·​tial ˌkän-fi-ˈden-chəl How to pronounce confidential (audio)
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
confidentiality noun
confidentially adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on confidential

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!