secret

adjective
se·​cret | \ ˈsē-krət How to pronounce secret (audio) \

Definition of secret

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : kept from knowledge or view : hidden
b : marked by the habit of discretion : closemouthed
c : working with hidden aims or methods : undercover a secret agent
d : not acknowledged : unavowed a secret bride
e : conducted in secret a secret trial
2 : remote from human frequentation or notice : secluded
3 : revealed only to the initiated : esoteric
4 : designed to elude observation or detection a secret panel
5 : containing information whose unauthorized disclosure could endanger national security — compare confidential, top secret

secret

noun

Definition of secret (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : something kept hidden or unexplained : mystery
b : something kept from the knowledge of others or shared only confidentially with a few
c : a method, formula, or process used in an art or operation and divulged only to those of one's own company or craft : trade secret
d secrets plural : the practices or knowledge making up the shared discipline or culture of an esoteric society
2 : a prayer traditionally said inaudibly by the celebrant just before the preface of the mass
3 : something taken to be a specific or key to a desired end the secret of longevity
in secret
: in a private place or manner

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from secret

Adjective

secretly adverb

Choose the Right Synonym for secret

Adjective

secret, covert, stealthy, furtive, clandestine, surreptitious, underhanded mean done without attracting observation. secret implies concealment on any grounds for any motive. met at a secret location covert stresses the fact of not being open or declared. covert intelligence operations stealthy suggests taking pains to avoid being seen or heard especially in some misdoing. the stealthy step of a burglar furtive implies a sly or cautious stealthiness. lovers exchanging furtive glances clandestine implies secrecy usually for an evil, illicit, or unauthorized purpose and often emphasizes the fear of being discovered. a clandestine meeting of conspirators surreptitious applies to action or behavior done secretly often with skillful avoidance of detection and in violation of custom, law, or authority. the surreptitious stockpiling of weapons underhanded stresses fraud or deception. an underhanded trick

Examples of secret in a Sentence

Adjective

Her secret wish is to become a senator. The message was written in secret code. I don't know the secret password. He was sent on a secret mission. They engaged in secret negotiations with the enemy. She tried to keep her marriage secret. They've been very secret about their plans.

Noun

Don't tell him about the party—it's a secret. I'm going to tell you a secret, but you have to promise not to tell anyone else. You always look great. What's your secret? She shared her beauty secrets with the group. The secret to a good sauce is the base. the secrets of the universe one of nature's greatest secrets
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Whatever the case, Ransone feels strange when people, especially critics, call him the secret weapon or MVP of It Chapter Two. Nick Romano, EW.com, "James Ransone is the MVP of It Chapter Two," 6 Sep. 2019 For the first time, a secret hacking tool capable of remotely taking control of an Android smartphone sells for more than its iPhone equivalent. Wired, "Why 'Zero Day' Android Hacking Now Costs More Than iOS Attacks," 3 Sep. 2019 The secret sauce Disney’s secret ingredient for its Adventure by Disney tours are the guides. Judy Koutsky, Condé Nast Traveler, "A Disney Trip to Iceland Had All the Best Parts of Disney, and None of the Theme Parks," 2 Sep. 2019 To save her feet from the pain of constant high heel wearing, Kate reportedly has a secret weapon: a pair of awesome insoles. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "Kate Middleton Reportedly Wears These $20 High Heel Insoles," 18 Aug. 2019 Beyond the box score: Deerfield’s secret weapon this year is its international flavor. Steve Sadin, chicagotribune.com, "Pioneer Press 2019 boys soccer preview: Central Suburban North," 18 Aug. 2019 One of the best things about my secret summer style weapon is that the fit is super flattering. Lauren Matthews, Good Housekeeping, "I Own This $24 Amazon Dress in 4 Colors (and I Want More)," 15 Aug. 2019 This was assumed to be the knock-out blow, the secret weapon held in reserve to blast the race apart. Conrad Black, National Review, "Trump: A Brief History Thereof," 1 Aug. 2019 No, not that Drake, but a 6-year-old miniature coach who is this team’s secret weapon. Rachel E. Greenspan, Time, "6-Year-Old Coach Throws a Perfectly Legitimate Tantrum About Being Rejected From the Game," 18 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Compared to Dickinson and Lister’s clandestine relationships, Sackville-West and Woolf’s affair was no secret to anyone — including their husbands. Elena Nicolaou, refinery29.com, "Hear Virginia Wolf & Vita Sackville West's Love Story In Their Own Words," 24 Aug. 2019 After the funeral ends with the students protesting Bryce, it’s revealed in a new scene that Bryce’s dad may have a motive to kill his son because Bryce knew about his love child — a secret that could ruin divorce proceedings with Bryce’s mother. Sydney Bucksbaum, EW.com, "13 Reasons Why season 3 binge recap," 23 Aug. 2019 Today, the family is divided on whether to explore the cemetery’s secrets. USA Today, "The founding family you’ve never heard of: The black Tuckers of Hampton, Virginia," 22 Aug. 2019 What to do this week: The two secrets of garden success are water and sun. Boston.com Real Estate, "Ask the Gardener: Tips for ridding your lawn of creeping Charlie," 21 Aug. 2019 Part of the secret to the program's success has been treating the amateur actors the same as the pros. Manuel Mendoza, Dallas News, "Public Works Dallas creates 'the people's theater' starring 200 regular folks from the community," 9 Aug. 2019 Meanwhile, Liv's boss at the morgue, Ravi Chakrabarti (Rahul Kohli), is the only person who knows her secret and is surprisingly understanding of her predicament. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Review: iZombie sets up strong fifth season, then whiffs the series finale," 5 Aug. 2019 Felix kept her entire pregnancy secret from the public, but early in her first trimester even her training team, including her coach and fellow teammates, didn’t know about it. Leta Shy, SELF, "Allyson Felix Wants to Save Black Mothers," 30 July 2019 The secret to a long lasting spray tan actually involves preparing long before your treatment. Maggie Maloney, Town & Country, "Here's How to Make Your Spray Tan Last Even Longer," 17 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'secret.' 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 secret

Adjective

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for secret

Adjective

Middle English, from Anglo-French secré, secret, from Latin secretus, from past participle of secernere to separate, distinguish, from se- apart + cernere to sift — more at secede, certain

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about secret

Dictionary Entries near secret

secours

secrecy

sec reg

secret

secreta

secret admirer

secretage

Statistics for secret

Last Updated

9 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for secret

The first known use of secret was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for secret

secret

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of secret

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: kept hidden from others : known to only a few people
: keeping information hidden from others

secret

noun

English Language Learners Definition of secret (Entry 2 of 2)

: a fact or piece of information that is kept hidden from other people
: a special or unusual way of doing something to achieve a good result
: something that cannot be explained

secret

adjective
se·​cret | \ ˈsē-krət How to pronounce secret (audio) \

Kids Definition of secret

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : hidden from the knowledge of others a secret staircase Keep your plans secret.
2 : done, made, or working in a way that no other or only a few other people know about a secret attack a secret agent

Other Words from secret

secretly adverb

secret

noun

Kids Definition of secret (Entry 2 of 2)

: something kept or planned to be kept from others' knowledge

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on secret

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for secret

Spanish Central: Translation of secret

Nglish: Translation of secret for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of secret for Arabic Speakers

Comments on secret

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

WORD OF THE DAY

formidable, illustrious, or eminent

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

The Exceptions Quiz III

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

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!