secret sauce

noun

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 Alas, the secret sauces will stay with Dang, whose love of musubi (and pleasing customers) has spawned a multitude of versions, including some Spam alternatives, like soy garlic chicken that gets a tenderizing sous vide treatment. Amy Drew Thompson, Orlando Sentinel, 4 July 2024 The crucial step that follows is editing, the secret sauce that enhances the writing. Jon Stojan, USA TODAY, 25 June 2024 For him, even talking about the show, analyzing its secret sauce, is offered up with a certain gnomic reticence. Owen Gleiberman, Variety, 14 June 2024 But what really stuck the landing is what’s been the United States’ economic secret sauce for two centuries: immigration. New York Daily News Editorial Board, New York Daily News, 3 Mar. 2024 See all Example Sentences for secret sauce 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'secret sauce.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1906, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Time Traveler
The first known use of secret sauce was in 1906

Dictionary Entries Near secret sauce

Cite this Entry

“Secret sauce.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/secret%20sauce. Accessed 13 Jul. 2024.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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