confidential

adjective
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

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

Complainants also get an employment lawyer as a confidential adviser. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Sexual Harassment on the Hill," 28 Dec. 2018 Some 9,800 are in facilities with 100-plus total kids, according to confidential government data obtained and cross-checked by The Associated Press. Garance Burke, The Seattle Times, "AP Investigation: Migrant kids held in mass shelters," 19 Dec. 2018 The health department offers free, confidential screenings at its office on Stanford Boulevard in Columbia. Kate Magill, Columbia Flier, "Howard looks at new ways to talk to teens about safe sex," 21 May 2018 There is an entourage of these special assistants, special counsels, confidential assistants, and others. Evan Osnos, The New Yorker, "Trump vs. the “Deep State”," 14 May 2018 During the course of the investigation into the money-laundering charges, a confidential FBI source learned that Mr. Teyf suspected his wife was having an affair with another man, prosecutors said. Samuel Rubenfeld, WSJ, "Alleged Kickback Scheme Leads to Murder-for-Hire, Money-Laundering Charges," 13 Dec. 2018 That came after a confidential legislative memo leaked to the media in July revealed the four women’s allegations. Rick Callahan, The Seattle Times, "Indiana attorney general won’t be charged in alleged groping," 24 Oct. 2018 Our first client, which is still confidential, will launch next year. Eric Johnson, Recode, "Former Ticketmaster CEO Nathan Hubbard explains why live venues are leaving money on the table," 11 Oct. 2018 Those documents and text messages could discuss all manner of things, including, potentially, investigators’ suspicions, secret evidence, investigative methods, and information on confidential sources whose lives could be put at risk. Andrew Prokop, Vox, "Trump just walked back his controversial order to declassify Russia investigation information," 21 Sep. 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.

See More

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)

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about confidential

Share confidential

Statistics for confidential

Last Updated

7 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for confidential

The first known use of confidential was in 1759

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for confidential

confidential

adjective

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

confidential

adjective
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

confidential

adjective
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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on confidential

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

WORD OF THE DAY

tremendous in size, volume, or degree

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Homophone Quiz

  • three-bears-two-of-them-look-like-theyre-whispering-to-a-third-bear-who-looks-chuffed-to-be-the-center-of-attention
  • In order to judge how people felt, the senator's office hired a firm to take a ______.
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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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