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

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 See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Unlike Biden, who made little secret of his desire to run for president, Albanese expressed no interest in leading his party or country for almost two decades, according to biographer and journalist Karen Middleton. Michael E. Miller, Washington Post, 22 May 2022 Other unconfirmed rumors of billions of dollars in secret bank accounts, Swiss chalets and yachts began to swirl. New York Times, 21 May 2022 After the once-secret location of a famed grove of ancient redwoods in Northern California was made public, visitors flocking to see the towering trees caused significant damage looking for the off-trail behemoths. Los Angeles Times, 21 May 2022 In all three cases, Mr. Plokhy shows, officials underestimated the risks of their top-secret projects. James B. Meigs, WSJ, 20 May 2022 There’s been a lot of buzz on social media about two secret collaborations that are part of this album, but haven’t been released. Julyssa Lopez, Rolling Stone, 20 May 2022 Roughly 4,300 years ago, an ancient Egyptian dignitary who handled secret documents for the pharaoh died unexpectedly. Sarah Kuta, Smithsonian Magazine, 20 May 2022 The first fabrics produced there rolled out in 1922 and have been made there ever since using Fortuny’s original machinery and secret processes. Anna Fixsen, ELLE Decor, 20 May 2022 Season 3 left off at the new Starcourt Mall, which also happens to be a front for a secret Soviet research base under which the Russians have built a portal to the Upside Down. Mark Heim | Mheim@al.com, al, 20 May 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun In case the big day slipped your mind (your secret is safe with us!), there are plenty of gifts that can still make it to your doorstep by June 19. Alison Allsopp, Country Living, 6 May 2022 Rescuing the Princess may be small compared to her deep, dark secret. Travis Bean, Forbes, 30 Apr. 2022 What’s her secret to surviving these lecture tours? San Diego Union-Tribune, 27 Apr. 2022 All goes well until both of them are invited to a family dinner, putting his secret at risk. Kara Thompson, Town & Country, 25 Apr. 2022 Their secret, however, remains their characters which can resonate around the world, Aksoy told Variety. John Hopewell, Variety, 21 Apr. 2022 For 40 years, her secret informed her drive to devote equal energy to work and family. Lauren Leblanc, Los Angeles Times, 20 Apr. 2022 My little secret for removing anxiety before a show is playing the game Subway Surfers on my phone. Christian Allaire, Vogue, 19 Apr. 2022 May 14: The Secret Garden Tour of La Jolla and Secret Garden Boutique is called a secret for a reason. San Diego Union-Tribune, 23 Apr. 2022 See More

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.

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

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Dictionary Entries Near secret

sec reg

secret

secreta

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Last Updated

24 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Secret.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/secret. Accessed 24 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for secret

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

More from Merriam-Webster on secret

Nglish: Translation of secret for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of secret for Arabic Speakers

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