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

When first prepared, the Kismet red zhoug houses a Jackson Pollock splatter of essential oils and enzymes donated by a secret blend of spices ground together with garlic. Ali Bouzari, SFChronicle.com, "Housemade: The science behind a feast of flavor pairings at Kismet in Los Angeles," 12 July 2019 Darroch had become embroiled in controversy after a cache of secret diplomatic cables were leaked to a British tabloid over the weekend. Author: William Booth, Josh Daswey, Anchorage Daily News, "British ambassador to US resigns after leak of diplomatic cables," 10 July 2019 Three reasons: talented bartenders, a secret Manhattan menu and VIP booths with heavy burgundy privacy curtains. Michael Hiller, Dallas News, "Want to sneak away? Try these hidden or secret bars in Las Vegas," 9 July 2019 But legal experts and human rights advocates say the government has kept the use of databases at the border largely secret, subverting potential challenges to the reliability of the information in them. Melissa Del Bosque, ProPublica, "Immigration Officials Use Secretive Gang Databases to Deny Migrant Asylum Claims," 8 July 2019 But the fact that Harry and Meghan made a point of keeping the identities secret, when traditionally royal godparents’ names are made public, irked a segment of fans, as well as members of the British media. Martha Ross, The Mercury News, "Harry and Meghan stir new debate about royal privilege by refusing to identify Archie’s godparents," 8 July 2019 The blue of the primary stones is meant to evoke the fountains of Verona, while diamonds set beneath the aquamarines represent the lovers’ secret wedding vows. Laurie Brookins, The Hollywood Reporter, "The Latest Red Carpet-Ready Looks From Paris High-Jewelry Collections," 8 July 2019 However, since the assassination was carried out in private and the remains’ location kept secret, urban legends spewed. Elena Nicolaou, refinery29.com, "The Dramatic True Story Of Russia's Last Dynasty, The Romanovs," 5 July 2019 John's good friend Billy Noonan had documented the weekend on tape, and for over two decades, kept it secret. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Never-Before-Seen Footage of JFK Jr. and Carolyn Bessette's Wedding to Air in a New Documentary," 27 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

To create the waves, Wood twisted her hair vertically at 380 degrees (this is the secret!) and pinned it to her neck, before hitting it again with the blow dryer. Meagan Fredette, refinery29.com, "Sophie Turner's Wedding Waves Are A Gorgeous & Easy Summer Look," 5 July 2019 If there is a secret to Hahn’s inventiveness, that may be it. David Weininger, BostonGlobe.com, "Hilary Hahn’s solo encounter with Bach, just before a break," 3 July 2019 Only recently have scientists figured out that the leakiness is the secret to dandelions’ success at long-distance unpowered flight. Jonathon Keats, Discover Magazine, "The Origins of Flight, From Birds to Bugs to Planes," 21 June 2019 But most notably of the who’s who included are Hollywood connected White House royalty Ronald and Nancy Reagan, along with whispers of ever-swirling family secrets. Philip Potempa, Post-Tribune, "Family secrets come out in Dunes Summer Theatre's 'Other Desert Cities'," 13 June 2019 There is nothing artful or concealed about Donald Trump, which is one of the secrets of his strange success as a politician. David Roth, The New Republic, "Making sense of Donald Trump's petulant reign," 12 June 2019 Some scientists are keen to study the planet’s atmosphere, which holds another, equally tantalizing set of secrets. Shannon Hall, Scientific American, "Venus, Earth’s Evil Twin, Beckons Space Agencies," 12 June 2019 Having spent more than a decade heading one of Chávez’s main intelligence agencies, Carvajal is believed to hold some of the most damaging secrets of the Venezuelan regime. Antonio Maria Delgado, miamiherald, "Venezuela’s former spy chief: Maduro spends thousands on Santeria sacrifices in Cuba," 4 June 2019 One of the biggest secrets to Georgia Southern’s success last season was its ability to take care of the football. Iliana Limón Romero, orlandosentinel.com, "2019 College Football Rankings: No. 82 Georgia Southern works to build on success," 4 June 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

15 Jul 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

Comments on secret

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