in pet·​to | \ in-ˈpe-(ˌ)tō How to pronounce in petto (audio) \

Definition of in petto

1 : in private : secretly
2 : in miniature

First Known Use of in petto

1647, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for in petto

Italian, literally, in the breast

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about in petto

Statistics for in petto

Time Traveler for in petto

The first known use of in petto was in 1647

See more words from the same year

More from Merriam-Webster on in petto

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with in petto

Comments on in petto

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


an agreement to stop fighting a war

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Confusing Words—A Quiz

  • alice with tweedle dee and tweedle dum
  • I invented a brand new toaster robot and ______ it "Sir Toasts-a-Lot."
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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