secret sauce


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 to the line just may be Dvorak, with whom Garland and Hall have combined for an elite 64.77 CF% and 66.28 xGF% when on the ice together. Richard Morin, azcentral, "Analysis: Taylor Hall and Conor Garland have found chemistry with Coyotes," 3 Jan. 2020 Instead, the secret sauce is its cloud transcription capabilities, plus what Microsoft is touting as a superior audio solution for apps like Spotify. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Ears on with Microsoft's Surface Earbuds: Tapping the cloud for transcription and more," 3 Oct. 2019 The secret sauce powering all of this media streaming is a technology concept every executive is now familiar with: cloud computing. By Jonathan Vanian, Fortune, "Cloud Gaming Is Big Tech’s New Street Fight," 19 July 2019 Facing biggest challenge yet Still, there's got to be some secret sauce to this, right? Dan Wolken, USA TODAY, "Will Overseas Elite win a fifth consecutive TBT? That's the $2 million question," 18 July 2019 This may very well be the secret sauce for Minecraft Earth fun, at least in Build mode. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "Minecraft Earth’s closed beta: This augmented reality needs more augmenting," 16 July 2019 The secret sauce in countless iconic spritzes, from Chanel No. 5 to Guerlain’s Shalimar to Frédéric Malle’s Portrait of a Lady is…tree gunk. April Long, Town & Country, "Why Frankincense Is Suddenly So Smoking Hot," 5 Dec. 2019 The Eastern Burger subbed cucumbers for pickles, Sriracha mayo for secret sauce and pickled red onions for white onions. Mike Sutter,, "Review: Conroy’s Bar & Grill gets a global buzz going at its Stone Oak restaurant," 21 Nov. 2019 Vincenzo Cucina Italiana: Many things go into a quality Italian restaurant: warm bread, homemade pasta, family recipes and secret sauces., "2019 Orlando Sentinel Best Bets: Dining & Restaurants winners," 5 Oct. 2019

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.

See More

First Known Use of secret sauce

1906, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about secret sauce

Time Traveler for secret sauce

Time Traveler

The first known use of secret sauce was in 1906

See more words from the same year

Statistics for secret sauce

Last Updated

11 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Secret sauce.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 19 January 2020.

Comments on secret sauce

What made you want to look up secret sauce? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to insert between existing elements

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

The Eponym Quiz

  • rubens painting
  • Which is the best synonym of bowdlerize?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!