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

And from the secret weapon behind Jolie's va-va-voom volume to the flat iron that practically does all the work for you, here Babaii reveals his three standout favorites. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, "Angelina Jolie's Hairstylist Debuts a New Eco-Friendly Haircare Line—Just In Time For Summer," 14 July 2018 That betrayal, and having that secret identity in life, has left many of us who knew him just very angry with him. Jon Lender, courant.com, "'It's Awful': Sadness, Anger Expressed Over Landry's Impact On Young Woman In Years Of Secret Affair," 11 July 2018 Speculation holds that the drawings are likely spiritual or religious in nature, perhaps created by shamans, who kept the meanings secret. Diane Bell, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Discovery of hidden drawings puts Poway Native American art in a class of its own," 9 July 2018 Players can’t technically sign with a new team until July 1, but there are already phone calls, texts, secret meetings and speculation galore about potential new destinations for some of the league's top talents. Peter Dawson, star-telegram, "These NBA free agents are the best fits for the Dallas Mavericks," 28 June 2018 The inclusion of the lodging tax for Clermont County in Ohio’s operating budget for fiscal year 2018-2019 also led to accusations of secret backroom deals and a federal lawsuit filed by government transparency advocate Chris Hicks. Sheila Vilvens, Cincinnati.com, "Milford confirmed: Here are the FCC facility details and what it means for Clermont County," 26 June 2018 Dante Starks, a former cop, political aide and lobbyist known for making secret deals throughout his career in Miami-Dade, may have cut the biggest deal of his life on Monday. Jay Weaver, miamiherald, "Opa-locka fixer Dante Starks pleads guilty, may implicate top politicians," 25 June 2018 Earlier this year it was reported that Meghan had been taking secret meetings to visit those who were affected by the tragedy. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "The Touching Way Meghan Markle and the Queen Marked the Grenfell Tower Fire Anniversary," 14 June 2018 Roberts will play a caseworker at a secret government facility, Deadline reports. Zoe Weiner, Allure, "Julia Roberts Looks Almost Unrecognizable With Her New Brown Lob and Bangs," 6 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The secret is how seriously Peyton takes his film's cheese. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "Rampage is the awesome Jurassic World sequel we got—but didn’t deserve," 4 July 2018 The problems are not a secret to IMPD investigators, Bailey said. Vic Ryckaert, Indianapolis Star, "As murders rise among Indianapolis youth, so too does the search for answers," 2 July 2018 Tottenham's Dele Alli is by no means a secret, but the blinding pace of England's 22-year-old winger can create nightmares for opponents. Motez Bishara, CNN, "World Cup: Is Russia 2018 the last chance for Messi and Ronaldo?," 13 June 2018 The ‘brave’ man who died saving kids had a dark secret. Allyson Chiu, Washington Post, "‘Don’t let anything stop you’: Jimmy Fallon surprises Marjory Stoneman Douglas seniors at graduation," 4 June 2018 Here’s how Inquisitr breaks it all down: The Slovenia native’s preference for New York City has been no secret. Stephen A. Crockett Jr., The Root, "Has Melania Trump Left the White House?," 30 May 2018 The lack of female participation in ultrarunning is no secret, but those with the ability to make a tangible difference (such as race directors) haven’t really done much to correct it. Stephanie Case, Outside Online, "Op-Ed: We Need to Fix Ultrarunning's Gender Problem," 25 May 2018 The exact location of the wreckage is still a secret, but it was discovered in November 2015 off the coast of Cartagena, Colombia. CBS News, "Robot submarine finds "holy grail of shipwrecks" with up to $17 billion in treasure," 23 May 2018 Chinese leaders are especially uneasy about relying on foreign technology to keep the nation's secrets. Joe Mcdonald, The Christian Science Monitor, "US tariffs could spur tech development in China," 5 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

23 Sep 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

Comments on secret

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