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

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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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Assisting them are the Department of Justice, with its own worldwide system of secret agents, and the post office department, whose inspectors exercise constant vigilance to keep the mails closed to the smuggler. Popular Mechanics Editors, Popular Mechanics, "Rewind: What Guarding Uncle Sam's Borders Was Like in 1925," 11 Feb. 2019 Matcha is the secret ingredient that gives these dainty shortbread biscuits their vibrant color and earthy flavor. Woman's Day Kitchen, Woman's Day, "Green Tea Cookies," 15 Feb. 2019 In April 1942, the carrier departed Naval Air Station Alameda, California with a new, secret air group: 16 U.S. Army Air Corps B-25 Mitchell bombers. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Explorers Discover the Wreck of the Aircraft Carrier USS Hornet, Sunk in World War II," 12 Feb. 2019 That means a whole new set of secret celebrities, mildly disturbing costumes, and confusing clues are coming your way. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "'The Masked Singer' Season 2 Is Going to Be a Gazillion Times Weirder," 31 Jan. 2019 Escotto's lawyer said the mother's actions were legal and justified because the secret recording was captured in a public space with other children present. Jason Silverstein, CBS News, "Mom secretly recorded son's kindergarten teacher calling him a "loser"," 6 July 2018 Las Vegas police reopened the case in the fall after the woman, Kathryn Mayorga, filed a lawsuit alleging that Mr. Ronaldo raped her in 2009 in Las Vegas and then paid her $375,000 to keep it secret. Zusha Elinson, WSJ, "Warrant Issued for Soccer Superstar Ronaldo’s DNA in Rape Case," 10 Jan. 2019 To make sense of these results, Bob and Alice share the orientation settings of their apparatus but keep everything else secret. Chris Lee, Ars Technica, "Conservation of energy used to parallelize quantum key distribution," 17 Dec. 2018 The radical inclusion is made possible by these secret escape hatches. Jonathon Keats, Discover Magazine, "The Vanishing City," 13 Aug. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

But the small, water-loving hunting dogs were for years something of a South Carolina secret, and they’re still not as widely known as some other spaniel breeds. Jennifer Peltz, The Seattle Times, "A breed apart: Rare Westminster dogs have ring to themselves," 13 Feb. 2019 Maya Thurman-Hawke will be Robin, a newbie who uncovers a dark secret in Hawkins, Indiana; among other new additions is Princess Bride actor Cary Elwes as Mayor Kline. Maude Campbell, Popular Mechanics, "The 2019 Sci-Fi TV Guide," 16 Jan. 2019 How did Hough go from keeping her endometriosis something of a secret to becoming a spokeswoman for this often agonizingly painful health issue? Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "Julianne Hough on How Endometriosis Helped Her Step Into Her Power," 21 Dec. 2018 But here's a little secret: Top makeup artists almost never open one tube of mascara, swipe the wand a few times, and call it a day. Elizabeth Siegel, Allure, "Why Makeup Artists Swear by Using Two Mascaras to Make Your Eyes Stand Out," 10 Oct. 2018 Rough Animals follows two fraternal twins on a remote Utah farm, bound together by a dark secret. refinery29.com, "How Rae DelBianco Went From Cattle Farmer To Bookstagram Queen To Literary Darling — All By 25," 13 July 2018 The Large Hadron Collider is the largest machine ever built, and scientists have used it to uncover all manner of secrets about the universe. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "Scientists Are Planning a New Particle Collider That Absolutely Dwarfs the LHC," 16 Jan. 2019 And now, with season 23 of The Bachelor about to premiere (January 7 on ABC), Fuchs is opening up about some of those production secrets and more. Jessica Radloff, Glamour, "The One Piece of Advice The Bachelor’s Director Would Give Every Contestant," 31 Dec. 2018 Just yesterday, a group of Chinese spies were indicted by the Justice Department for working to hack American aerospace companies and steal aircraft technology secrets. Makena Kelly, The Verge, "China state-owned company charged with stealing US tech trade secrets," 1 Nov. 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

11 Mar 2019

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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 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

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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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