di·​vulge də-ˈvəlj How to pronounce divulge (audio)
divulged; divulging

transitive verb

: to make known (something, such as a confidence or secret)
refused to divulge the name of her informant
divulge the company's sales figures
archaic : to make public : proclaim
divulgence noun

Did you know?

It isn't vulgar to make known the roots of divulge. The preceding sentence contains two hints about the origins of the word. Divulge was borrowed into Middle English in the 15th century from Latin divulgare, a word that combines the prefix dis-, meaning "apart" or "in different directions," with vulgare, meaning "to make known." Vulgare, in turn, derives from the Latin noun vulgus, meaning "mob" or "common people." As you have no doubt guessed, English vulgar is another word that can be traced back to vulgus.

Choose the Right Synonym for divulge

reveal, disclose, divulge, tell, betray mean to make known what has been or should be concealed.

reveal may apply to supernatural or inspired revelation of truths beyond the range of ordinary human vision or reason.

divine will as revealed in sacred writings

disclose may imply a discovering but more often an imparting of information previously kept secret.

candidates must disclose their financial assets

divulge implies a disclosure involving some impropriety or breach of confidence.

refused to divulge an anonymous source

tell implies an imparting of necessary or useful information.

told them what he had overheard

betray implies a divulging that represents a breach of faith or an involuntary or unconscious disclosure.

a blush that betrayed her embarrassment

Example Sentences

The company will not divulge its sales figures. we tried to make him divulge the name of the winner, but he wouldn't budge
Recent Examples on the Web The company didn't divulge any performance estimates, and there's no word on battery sizes or predicted driving range. Eric Stafford, Car and Driver, 18 Nov. 2022 Harper was pressed again, but didn't divulge anything. Bob Nightengale, USA TODAY, 2 Nov. 2022 That was all Murphy could divulge before the episode ended. Hannah Dailey, Billboard, 31 Oct. 2022 Apple doesn’t divulge marketing revenues, but Bloomberg reported last month that the iPhone maker wants to more than double its current ad sales total. Jacob Carpenter, Fortune, 7 Sep. 2022 Duggan claimed the bureau was going against its own policy by refusing to divulge to Detroit the way the estimates for the city were calculated and not allowing challenges this year. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, 23 Sep. 2022 Federal officials won’t divulge how many eagles are reported killed by wind farms, saying it’s sensitive law enforcement information. Matthew Brown, Fortune, 30 Sep. 2022 As a matter of policy, SITLA does not divulge the identity of bidders and their bids. Brian Maffly, The Salt Lake Tribune, 26 Sep. 2022 But Abston-Henderson would not divulge any information to investigators regarding Fletcher’s whereabouts. Fox News, 6 Sep. 2022 See More

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

Word History


Middle English, from Latin divulgare, from dis- + vulgare to make known, from vulgus mob

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Time Traveler
The first known use of divulge was in the 15th century


Dictionary Entries Near divulge

Cite this Entry

“Divulge.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/divulge. Accessed 1 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition



di·​vulge də-ˈvəlj How to pronounce divulge (audio)
divulged; divulging
: to make public : disclose
divulgence noun

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