se·cre·cy | \ˈsē-krə-sē \
plural secrecies

Definition of secrecy 

1 : the condition of being hidden or concealed

2 : the habit or practice of keeping secrets or maintaining privacy or concealment

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for secrecy


closeness, secretiveness

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of secrecy in a Sentence

this administration's steadfast adherence to secrecy is beginning to cost it the trust of the voters

Recent Examples on the Web

In recent weeks, in a bid to improve transparency, administrators have lifted the veil of secrecy that surrounded Dozier and programs like it, allowing The Miami Herald to review century-old records and tour the remote campus. Carol Marbin Miller, miamiherald, "A painful reunion at school of horror," 11 July 2018 Within a community whose members adhered to varying levels of secrecy about the formulas that went into their rankings, Colley was the most transparent, and his error sparked a debate about how up-front the men behind the computers should be. Joan Niesen,, "The Computer Poll Uprising: Creators of the BCS's Most Controversial Component Look Back," 11 July 2018 The operation will be carried out with an unusual level of secrecy under the oversight of the Department of Homeland Security, according to federal lawyers and others familiar with the plan. New York Times, "Judge Rejects Long Detentions of Migrant Families, Dealing Trump Another Setback," 9 July 2018 Scandal, secrecy in campaign funding and an Animal House culture in Jefferson City undermine the public’s confidence. kansascity, "Jean Paul Bradshaw," 30 June 2018 The rating system, obtained after years of secrecy by USA TODAY and the Boston Globe, shows that nearly half of VA nursing homes, 60, received one out of five stars for quality of care. Donovan Slack,, "VA nursing homes: Chillicothe gets one star; Cincy, Dayton, Cleveland get two," 17 June 2018 The country was working in extreme secrecy and under the limitations of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, which bans the import of weapon-producing parts. Peter Schwartzstein, Smithsonian, "How Saddam and ISIS Killed Iraqi Science," 30 May 2018 The plan for Tuesday was unusual not only for its secrecy, but for its oversight: The Homeland Security Department is not typically involved directly in family reunifications. New York Times, "Judge Rejects Long Detentions of Migrant Families, Dealing Trump Another Setback," 9 July 2018 The need to maintain military secrecy prevented civilian firefighters from entering the scene, and fire leaped from building to building, incinerating most of the base. Lucy Cooke, ajc, "US military is interested in bats as possible defenders against bioweapons," 3 July 2018

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

1556, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for secrecy

alteration of earlier secretie, from Middle English secretee, from secret secret

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about secrecy

Statistics for secrecy

Last Updated

30 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for secrecy

The first known use of secrecy was in 1556

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for secrecy



English Language Learners Definition of secrecy

: the act of keeping information secret

: the quality or state of being hidden or secret


se·cre·cy | \ˈsē-krə-sē \

Kids Definition of secrecy

1 : the act of keeping things secret I swore him to secrecy.

2 : the quality or state of being secret or hidden The meetings were held in secrecy.

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on secrecy

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for secrecy

Spanish Central: Translation of secrecy

Nglish: Translation of secrecy for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of secrecy for Arabic Speakers

Comments on secrecy

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


one that holds something together

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Roman Mythology Quiz

  • the-triumph-of-venus-by-alessandro-magnasco
  • Boreal comes from the name of the ancient Greek god of which wind?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

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!