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

Barring the creepy-secret storyline, this movie is a solid pick for your next cry fest. Noelle Devoe, Seventeen, "A Definitive Ranking of the 8 Best Nicholas Sparks Movies," 20 Nov. 2018 The list is generated by a top-secret poll of more than 500 booze world insiders from 58 countries, and uses careful guidelines to prevent any one city or bar from hacking the rankings. Mark Ellwood, Condé Nast Traveler, "This Is Officially the Best Bar in the World," 4 Oct. 2018 At the secret meetings with Russians, Banks was dangled the prospect of lucrative gold and mining deals. Jonathan Chait, Daily Intelligencer, "The Other Russia Collusion Scandal Is Breaking Wide Open," 30 June 2018 The fact that John's secret wedding to Carolyn was—at least in part—planned inside the George offices. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "How John F. Kennedy, Jr. Planned His Secret Wedding to Carolyn Bessette in the George Offices," 11 Apr. 2019 Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth surprised us all over the holiday season with their secret wedding. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Liam Hemsworth Called Miley Cyrus His 'Beautiful Wife' & I Am Not Okay," 27 Jan. 2019 The story revolves around a young girl named Amy Bellafonte (Saniyya Sidney) after she is chosen to be a test subject for Project NOAH, a secret medical facility where scientists are experimenting with a dangerous virus. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "Here’s How to Watch ‘The Passage,’ the New Fox Show Everyone’s Talking About," 21 Jan. 2019 New details and photos are emerging from Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth's secret wedding in Nashville on December 23—and the big day looked incredible for the couple. Abby Gardner, Glamour, "Every Photo From Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth's Surprise Wedding You Haven't Seen Yet," 28 Dec. 2018 That often means reducing the resolution of entire areas to make sure a secret facility doesn't stand out. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Oops! Mapping Service Blurs Out Military Bases, But Accidentally Locates Secret Ones," 10 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Drama, scandal, secrets, self-care, and Nicole Kidman: Yes, the show is shaping up to be a kind of Big Little Lies redux (even as Kidman still stars on season two of the HBO show, premiering this June with new cast member Meryl Streep). Michelle Ruiz, Vogue, "Will Nicole Kidman’s Nine Perfect Strangers Be the New Big Little Lies?," 1 May 2019 One secret to her success is a company called Instacart. Kelly O'sullivan, Country Living, "Jason Aldean's Wife Brittany Kerr Says It's Been 'Difficult' to Get Fit After Second Baby," 7 Apr. 2019 Today’s excavation is a bit more advanced than the first attempts to uncover the ancient city’s secrets. National Geographic, "Headless Pompeii Victim Wasn't Crushed to Death, After All," 29 June 2018 As the daughter of Claire Hotchkiss (Kelly Rutherford), Taylor has some undeniable ties to Beacon Heights University, a school with plenty of dark secrets of its own. De Elizabeth, Teen Vogue, "Hayley Erin from "The Perfectionists" Says Taylor Hotchkiss Is "Mixed in Real Deep" With the BHU Mystery," 17 Apr. 2019 Those days are over now that one of biggest secrets in Game of Thrones is finally out: Jon is actually a Targaryen. Ineye Komonibo, Marie Claire, "Will Jon Betray the Starks on 'Game of Thrones'?," 16 Apr. 2019 Julian Assange kept a lot of secrets pent up with him in a cramped corner room at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. Reis Thebault, The Seattle Times, "The mystery of Julian Assange’s cat: Where will it go? What does it know?," 12 Apr. 2019 The origin of the luxury handbag is likely one of fashion's best kept secrets. Olivia Martin, Town & Country, "Delvaux, the Brand Beloved by Belgian Royals and Lady Gaga Alike, Lands in NYC," 21 Mar. 2019 Some of the decorator's other home design secrets included investing in a great sofa, grab your outdoor furniture from Restoration Hardware, and to tone it down on the knick-knacks around your home. Elizabeth Gulino, House Beautiful, "The Huge Mansions in Big Little Lies Are Actually Filled With Discount Pieces," 14 Mar. 2019

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

6 May 2019

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 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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