secret sauce

noun
|Updated on: 12 Jul 2018

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

Recent Examples of secret sauce from the Web

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.

First Known Use of secret sauce

1906

in the meaning defined at sense 2

See Words from the same year
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