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

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 Alex Wong/Getty Images Peter Strzok, the FBI agent President Donald Trump says was at the center of a secret FBI conspiracy to thwart Trump’s presidential ambitions and elect Hillary Clinton, will testify publicly for the first time on Thursday. Alex Ward, Vox, "How to watch FBI agent Peter Strzok’s testimony in front of Congress," 12 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

What is the secret to successfully mixing patterns? Jennifer Adams, Philly.com, "Ask Jennifer Adams: Mixing and matching fabric patterns for a vintage look," 13 July 2018 See our interpretations on Adele's looks above — and learn the secret behind her winged liner, too. refinery29.com, "I Got Transformed Into Adele — & This Is What I Looked Like," 11 July 2018 The circuit is so competitive that Elias can reveal very little of his job description out of fear that other teams will steal racing secrets. Jacob Sweet, miamiherald, "His dream was to race cars. Now this Miami kid is building them for one of best F1 teams," 10 July 2018 She and University of California at Davis professor David Neale are trying to unlock the genetic secrets of some of the oldest living things on the planet. CBS News, "Mapping the genome of redwoods," 1 July 2018 Martin Tripp was a fan once before he was fired from his job as a technician at Tesla’s Gigafactory battery plant and then sued by the company for alleged hacking and stealing company secrets. Bijan Stephen, The Verge, "The gospel of Elon Musk, according to his flock," 26 June 2018 And China may be infiltrating our universities to steal our hi-tech secrets. Fox News, "Ingraham: A borderless world," 21 June 2018 Tesla sued a former employee Wednesday, accusing the man of hacking the automaker's computer systems and stealing company secrets, shedding light on what chief Elon Musk had suggested was the work of a secretive internal saboteur. Drew Harwell, latimes.com, "Former employee sued by Tesla says he was a whistleblower," 21 June 2018 Typically, if a user clicks on a link in a phishing email, that malicious code is able to spread throughout the network unimpeded, stealing secrets or shutting down key functions of the device-like opening a door to a home. Jenna Mclaughlin, CNN, "Pentagon seeks 'game changer' tech to thwart hackers," 6 June 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

21 Oct 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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