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 Since all the companies operate in the same lax regulatory environment, their side-impact tests, too, are allowed to remain secret. Daniela Porat, ProPublica, "Evenflo, Maker of the “Big Kid” Booster Seat, Put Profits Over Child Safety," 6 Feb. 2020 In 2018, Chinese hackers stole top-secret plans for a supersonic anti-ship missile being developed by the Navy known as Sea Dragon. Justin Rohrlich, Quartz, "Raytheon engineer arrested for taking US missile defense secrets to China," 1 Feb. 2020 Some information in the manuscript was classified at the top-secret level, said the National Security Council letter, signed by Ellen Knight, a senior director for records. Julian E. Barnes, New York Times, "White House Assumed ‘Disgruntled’ Bolton Would Write a Critical Book," 29 Jan. 2020 Although its details remain secret, it is believed to be weighted heavily in favor of Israel. Katie Rogers, BostonGlobe.com, "Trump is preparing to release his Middle East peace plan, will brief Israel’s Netanyahu in Washington, Pence says," 23 Jan. 2020 The episodes are drawn from actual top-secret investigations conducted by the U.S. Air Force between 1952 and ’69. Chuck Barney, Detroit Free Press, "TV highlights for the week of Jan. 19-25," 17 Jan. 2020 But after the two donors came forward, Durham police on Monday assured that their identity would remain secret. Fox News, "English town's mystery solved as police explain the source of cash bundles appearing on the streets," 15 Jan. 2020 The film, which is released here on the 24th of January, examined the conservative network's not-so-secret toxic work culture of misogyny. Ineye Komonibo, refinery29.com, "Margot Robbie Went Undercover On Conservative Twitter For Bombshell," 3 Jan. 2020 Also, most of the examples that Buck gave were secret in their day or remain unproved now (including the story about the East German spy). Amy Davidson Sorkin, The New Yorker, "What the Law Professors Brought to the Trump Impeachment Hearings," 5 Dec. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The wreck of a merchant ship that vanished in the Bermuda Triangle in 1925 is revealing its secrets. Fox News, "Bermuda Triangle shipwreck reveals its secrets almost 100 years after vanishing," 7 Feb. 2020 The book speculates that Epstein was a longtime asset of the Mossad who extorted the powerful by hoarding their secrets to shield and advance his agenda. Gary Baum, The Hollywood Reporter, "Dylan Howard’s Hollywood Reboot: Why Are So Many A-Listers Working With a Tabloid Henchman?," 3 Feb. 2020 Many thanks to Jon Hinojosa for sharing his secrets — and for giving me a break from cleaning my kitchen. Paul Stephen, ExpressNews.com, "Cooking with Paul: Mastering Mexican pottery and resolving cocktail sauce conflict," 1 Feb. 2020 The salamander’s exceptional comeback from injury has been known for more than a century, and scientists have unraveled some of its secrets. Amber Dance, Smithsonian Magazine, "Some Salamanders Can Regrow Lost Body Parts. Could Humans One Day Do the Same?," 31 Jan. 2020 For scientists that have longed to answer some of the sun’s most intriguing questions, however, there has never been a better time to unearth its secrets. Jonathan O'callaghan, Scientific American, "Home Star Stunner: Best Ever Images of Solar Surface Herald New Era," 29 Jan. 2020 Bolton wasn’t giving up his secrets for free, despite their relevance to Trump’s impeachment. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, "John Bolton Is Trying to Make a Buck. So is Everyone Else in Washington.," 29 Jan. 2020 Rivers tries to keep her own secret while staying in touch with police and her mother back home. Nancy Lord, Anchorage Daily News, "Best-selling author of ‘cozy’ mysteries sets new series in small-town Alaska," 26 Jan. 2020 The court was reviewing appeals filed by two drug makers — Merck (MRK) and PTC Therapeutics (PTCT) — that claimed greater transparency would come at the expense of their commercial secrets. Ed Silverman, STAT, "European court upholds controversial EMA transparency rules for clinical trial data," 22 Jan. 2020

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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Time Traveler for secret

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for secret

Last Updated

11 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Secret.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/secret. Accessed 16 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for secret

secret

adjective
How to pronounce secret (audio)

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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