confidential

adjective
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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from confidential

confidentiality \ ˌkän-​fə-​ˌden(t)-​shē-​ˈa-​lə-​tē How to pronounce confidentiality (audio) \ noun
confidentially \ ˌkän-​fə-​ˈden(t)-​sh(ə-​)lē How to pronounce confidentially (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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web The person who had signed it: A therapist at a government shelter for immigrant children who had assured Kevin that their sessions would be confidential. Anchorage Daily News, "Immigrant children are promised confidentiality in mandatory therapy. Then their words are used against them by ICE.," 16 Feb. 2020 Discussions are confidential; however, they are designed to help participants discover possible hidden biases and address the very real issues that keep us apart. Byron Mccauley, Cincinnati.com, "Chamber hopes to create more 'Room at the Table' for inclusivity," 12 Feb. 2020 Any complaint filed to the state's top legal department would be confidential, office spokeswoman Katie Conner said. David Williams, CNN, "A CEO was forced out after video showed him calling an Uber driver the n-word," 7 Feb. 2020 The investigating agency, the Dutch Safety Board, had said the study was confidential, but later posted it online after The Times detailed its findings. Chris Hamby, New York Times, "Boeing Refuses to Cooperate With New Inquiry Into Deadly Crash," 6 Feb. 2020 The terms of the settlement reached by Joilynn Karega-Mason and the college are confidential. Eric Heisig, cleveland, "Fired Oberlin professor settles lawsuit following controversial anti-Semitic online posts," 4 Feb. 2020 In 1994, maintaining his innocence, singer Michael Jackson settled a child molestation lawsuit against him; terms were confidential, although the monetary figure was reportedly $22 million. BostonGlobe.com, "This day in history," 25 Jan. 2020 The audit process is confidential, and the IRS, for all its flaws, simply doesn’t leak. Paul Kiel, ProPublica, "The IRS Decided to Get Tough Against Microsoft. Microsoft Got Tougher.," 22 Jan. 2020 Also request that the information be kept confidential and private to prevent retaliation from the co-worker and/or supervisor. Kathleen Furore, chicagotribune.com, "Take steps before blowing the whistle at work," 9 Oct. 2019

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

Time Traveler for confidential

Time Traveler

The first known use of confidential was in 1759

See more words from the same year

Statistics for confidential

Last Updated

18 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Confidential.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/confidential. Accessed 22 Feb. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for confidential

confidential

adjective
How to pronounce confidential (audio)

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 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

confidential

adjective
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 confidentiality (audio) \ 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

See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

More Confusing Words—Quiz

  • cats on impossible timber
  • The magician ______ moved the selected card to the top of the deck.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Add Diction

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!