secret

adjective
se·​cret | \ˈsē-krət \

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

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Other Words from secret

Adjective

secretly adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for secret

Synonyms: Adjective

behind-the-scenes, confidential, esoteric, hush-hush, hushed, inside, intimate, nonpublic, private, privy

Synonyms: Noun

gateway, key, open sesame, passport, ticket

Antonyms: Adjective

common, open, public

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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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

October is still three months away and the weeks leading up to release day are bound to be packed with more secret messages and music videos full of clues to analyze. Paige Williams, Billboard, "Twenty One Pilots' 'Trench': Decoding the Clues They've Left About Their New Album," 12 July 2018 The not-so-secret menu features protein-style burgers wrapped in lettuce instead of a bun or served animal-style with pickles, extra sauce and grilled onion. Jennifer Mcclellan, azcentral, "New restaurants in Phoenix in June have standout burgers, Mexican food, pizza," 1 July 2018 What this means is that the decision to bottle up the agenda of the next Democratic president is being made right now, in private, in a secret deal between Schumer and Senate Republicans. Jonathan Chait, Daily Intelligencer, "Chuck Schumer Is Secretly Sabotaging the Next Democratic President," 28 June 2018 But the main benefit of this devil-may-care attitude is the running gag relating to the size of Dr. Pym's top-secret lab headquarters. Todd Mccarthy, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Ant-Man and the Wasp': Film Review," 27 June 2018 The Washington Post reported Thursday that Mr. Trump's circles are ramping up a campaign to undermine the special counsel's Russia investigation by exposing the role of a top-secret FBI source. CBS News, "Trump promotes claim of a "spy" in the campaign, that DOJ is "out to frame" him," 18 May 2018 Lookalikes is one of the not-so-secret weapons of the savvy Facebook advertiser. Recode Staff, Recode, "Full transcript: Former Facebook ad targeting boss Antonio García-Martínez on Too Embarrassed to Ask," 14 May 2018 When the economy tanked a decade ago, Ellen Waylonis took a voluntary layoff from her marketing job and pursued her longtime secret ambition: running off to join the circus. BostonGlobe.com, "Her circus business embraces the unconventional," 14 July 2018 In 2012, Facebook conducted secret psychological experiments on nearly 700,000 users. Krista Stevens, Longreads, "Accountability for the Algorithms," 13 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

One of the secrets to its popularity is its low barrier to entry. Alyssa Newcomb And Peter Maguire /, NBC News, "Video game 'Fortnite' is raking in millions and taking over the real world," 12 July 2018 Companies have fought vicious lawsuits in attempts to protect their self-driving secrets, and given how wide open the potential market is for the technology there is little sign the tensions will end any time soon. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Ex-Apple Employee Charged With Stealing Self-Driving Tech," 11 July 2018 In the support group people had shared their darkest secrets as part of the 12 Steps to recovery. Katrine Jo Andersen, The New Republic, "Rejected by A.A.," 27 June 2018 The question is whether communities are ready to reveal their own secrets. Justin Chen, STAT, "Scientists can track the spread of opioids in sewers. But do cities want to know what lies below?," 26 June 2018 Tesla sues former employee, alleging hacking of company secrets. Chicago Tribune Staff, chicagotribune.com, "Morning Spin: Rauner praises Trump for executive order halting family separations, calls for immigration reform," 22 June 2018 One of the secrets to casting for Broadway, London and now the touring productions has been to let the kids find the show. Chad Jones, SFChronicle.com, "Andrew Lloyd Webber’s theater version of Jack Black movie ‘School of Rock’ rocks on," 20 June 2018 Chris Brugnola’s Canton kitchen is rather inconspicuous; its exposed brick wall and granite countertops hardly give away his secrets. Anna Muckerman, baltimoresun.com, "'Junk food is a language that everyone understands' — meet the Baltimore man behind Junk Banter blog," 20 June 2018 Sentenced in 1849 to four years in a Siberian prison, for the crime of belonging to a progressive literary group, the Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoyevsky could only write in secret. Amanda Foreman, WSJ, "Literature Behind Bars," 12 July 2018

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.

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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

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Dictionary Entries near secret

secours

secrecy

sec reg

secret

secreta

secret admirer

secretage

Statistics for secret

Last Updated

4 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for secret

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

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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 \

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

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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

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