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 secret sauce of Hitman, Liebold says, is unearthing every secret, trying every route and tactic, and truly immersing yourself in the game’s complex systems. Nick Statt, The Verge, "How Hitman 2’s developers turned its gigantic levels into ever-evolving playgrounds," 18 Oct. 2018 Exfoliant + jelly mask = secret sauce for glowy skin. Hannah Dylan Pasternak, SELF, "6 Things I Learned From Natural Skin-Care Legend Tata Harper," 25 Sep. 2018 But the real secret sauce is what gives the GeForce RTX 2080 and RTX 2080 Ti their names. Brad Chacos, PCWorld, "Nvidia's GeForce RTX 2080 and RTX 2080 Ti are loaded with boundary-pushing graphics tech," 20 Aug. 2018 The secret sauce lies in the hands of senior gardener, Yoko Arakawa, who has traveled to Japan many times to train in the old-school Japanese cultivation technique. Lauren Smith, House Beautiful, "Meet the Largest Chrysanthemum in North America," 10 Aug. 2015 The sticker shock stands out given Jenner's age and the hard-to-parse secret sauce that vaulted her family into its own celebrity stratosphere. Rachel Siegel, chicagotribune.com, "Kylie Jenner is on track to become the youngest self-made billionaire. Ever.," 14 July 2018 From a perspective of science, the material is a clever mesh of silicates with a dash of fluorine secret sauce. Lee Hutchinson, Ars Technica, "The Internet-demanded, partially scientific testing of Ultra-Ever Dry (in HD!)," 4 July 2018 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

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

15 Nov 2018

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The first known use of secret sauce was in 1906

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