secret sauce

noun

Definition of secret sauce 

1 : a sauce that adds an important element to a dish and that has ingredients which are typically kept secret A frank of beef, pork, and veal … is split lengthwise, coated with secret sauce, and cooked on a grill. —Jane and Michael Stern

called also special sauce

2 : an element, quality, ability, or practice that makes something or someone successful or distinctive If leadership has a secret sauce, it may well be humility. A humble boss understands that there are things he doesn't know.The Economist

called also special sauce

Examples of secret sauce in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The basic act of clearing Lumines squares is easy, but that fact nudges players into experimenting and discovering the game's secret sauce. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "Lumines Remastered turns the Nintendo Switch into a full-body vibration party," 26 June 2018 According to Cupajita, what enabled King’s Hawaiian to grow and become an international brand is technology – the secret sauce. Steve Strauss, USA TODAY, "Bigger, better, faster: Let technology lead the way for your small business," 28 June 2018 That’s probably the secret sauce of the game, right there. Brian Barrett, WIRED, "The Quiet, Steady Dominance of Pokémon Go," 6 July 2018 Companies are pitching artificial intelligence as a secret sauce to do everything from making drug discovery more efficient to predicting which patients will respond to treatments. Rebecca Robbins, STAT, "How life sciences companies are using AI — and how to separate hope from hype," 22 June 2018 The secret sauce is its highly personalized subscription service based on interviews with its customers, either in person, online or via telephone. Jeffrey A. Trachtenberg, WSJ, "From a London Bookstore to the U.S. Reader," 5 July 2018 Proof that staying connected to her fans will always be her not-so-secret sauce. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, "4 Times Kim Kardashian West Disrupted the Beauty Space," 4 June 2018 Whatever Lil Miquela’s secret sauce, similar technology is being used to make others like her. Emilia Petrarca, The Cut, "Body Con Job," 11 May 2018 The newly public slides arrive on the first court date for the high-profile trial, which centers on whether Uber effectively stole Waymo's secret sauce when the ridesharing company hired away a top engineer named Anthony Levandowski. Cyrus Farivar, Ars Technica, "Waymo presents damning internal messages from Uber, which responds in kind," 5 Feb. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'secret sauce.' 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 sauce

1906, in the meaning defined at sense 2

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Last Updated

20 Sep 2018

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The first known use of secret sauce was in 1906

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