se·​cre·​cy | \ ˈsē-krə-sē How to pronounce secrecy (audio) \
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


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 There, employees were reminded of their duty to maintain secrecy, says a professor who was present at the time, according to the report. Hristio Boytchev, Science | AAAS, "Top German psychologist fabricated data, investigation finds," 8 Apr. 2021 Yet, to many longtime Duxbury residents, the handling of the controversies has been disappointing but not surprising, the product of a school administration that too often seems to prioritize secrecy over transparency and action., "‘Our little town has a serious problem’: Duxbury reels as school scandals raise questions of transparency," 7 Apr. 2021 The Paris parents overwhelmed him with their secrecy. Helen Oyeyemi, Harper's BAZAAR, "Read An Excerpt from Helen Oyeyemi's New Novel, Peaces," 5 Apr. 2021 Homeless services workers have quietly expressed frustration about the speed and secrecy of this cleanup and closure plan. Benjamin Oreskes, Los Angeles Times, "Protesters in Echo Park want city to keep homeless encampment," 24 Mar. 2021 There are no easy explanations for these differences, in part because the process of distributing doses remains mired in confusion and secrecy. Joe Mahr,, "Who’s ahead in the Illinois vaccine race? Data shows downstate counties outpacing Chicago area.," 20 Mar. 2021 The secrecy and mystery shrouding his death is telling about Magufuli's enduring legacy, says Maria Sarungi Tsehai, activist and founder of the #ChangeTanzania movement, a civil society group promoting free speech. Stephanie Busari And Nimi Princewill, CNN, "Did Tanzania's Covid-denying leader die of the coronavirus? It's one of many questions he leaves behind," 20 Mar. 2021 The meetings ran for 10 years and were conducted with strict rules and absolute secrecy. Washington Post, "Burtell M. Jefferson, Washington’s first Black police chief, dies at 96," 19 Mar. 2021 But when a reporter pointed out that Swalwell cooperated with the FBI and was not suspected of wrongdoing, McCarthy again cited secrecy restrictions. Tal Kopan, San Francisco Chronicle, "Democrats defeat GOP effort to oust Eric Swalwell from House Intelligence Committee," 18 Mar. 2021

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

Time Traveler for secrecy

Time Traveler

The first known use of secrecy was in 1556

See more words from the same year

Statistics for secrecy

Last Updated

11 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Secrecy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Apr. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

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 How to pronounce secrecy (audio) \

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

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).


Test Your Vocabulary

The Exceptions Quiz III

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.


Anagram puzzles meet word search.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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