secretary

noun
sec·​re·​tary | \ ˈse-krə-ˌter-ē How to pronounce secretary (audio) , ˈse-kə-ˌter-, in rapid speech also ˈsek-ˌter-, especially British ˈse-k(r)ə-trē\
plural secretaries

Definition of secretary

1 : one employed to handle correspondence and manage routine and detail work for a superior
2a : an officer of a business concern who may keep records of directors' and stockholders' meetings and of stock ownership and transfer and help supervise the company's legal interests
b : an officer of an organization or society responsible for its records and correspondence
3 : an officer of state who superintends a government administrative department the secretary of labor
b : a writing desk with a top section for books

Illustration of secretary

Illustration of secretary

secretary 4b

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Other Words from secretary

secretarial \ ˌse-​krə-​ˈter-​ē-​əl How to pronounce secretarial (audio) \ adjective
secretaryship \ ˈse-​krə-​ˌter-​ē-​ˌship How to pronounce secretaryship (audio) \ noun

Synonyms for secretary

Synonyms

clerk, register, registrar, scribe

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Examples of secretary in a Sentence

You can set up an appointment with my secretary. He works as a legal secretary. He was the club's secretary. He is a junior secretary at the embassy.
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Recent Examples on the Web

The regulations are scheduled to take effect July 26 if certified by the secretary of state’s office, said Felix Browne, a spokesman for the state’s Executive Office of Public Safety and Security. Gal Tziperman Lotan, BostonGlobe.com, "In first year of medical parole, just four inmates granted reprieve," 15 July 2019 Bennett complained to the Texas secretary of state. Dallas News, "He didn’t like his appraisal district, but unlike the rest of us, he did something about it," 14 July 2019 But Nicole McKee, the secretary of the Council of Licensed Firearms Owners, said the government was shortchanging gun owners by trying to complete the buyback on the cheap. NBC News, "Four months after Christchurch shooting, New Zealand gun owners turn over their weapons for money," 13 July 2019 The Treasury secretary has dispatched his deputy, Justin Muzinich, to help broker an agreement. New York Times, "As Nations Look to Tax Tech Firms, U.S. Scrambles to Broker a Deal," 12 July 2019 Trump said today, when announcing the labor secretary’s surprise resignation, that the decision was Acosta’s and not his. Ephrat Livni, Quartz, "Alex Acosta resigns as labor secretary after scrutiny over Jeffrey Epstein plea deal," 12 July 2019 The bill directs the secretary of education to work with federal agencies to reach out to students who might be eligible for the benefits. Adam Harris, The Atlantic, "Many College Students Are Too Poor to Eat," 11 July 2019 The secretaries-general of the parliament and the commission are, too. The Economist, "Wurst among equals," 11 July 2019 The labor secretary will not escape further scrutiny. Fox News, "Labor secretary facing Capitol Hill hot seat over Epstein deal; Possible break in missing Kentucky mom case," 11 July 2019

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for secretary

Middle English secretarie, from Medieval Latin secretarius, confidential employee, secretary, from Latin secretum secret, from neuter of secretus

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Statistics for secretary

Last Updated

19 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for secretary

The first known use of secretary was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for secretary

secretary

noun

English Language Learners Definition of secretary

: a person whose job is to handle records, letters, etc., for another person in an office
: a person in a club or other organization who is in charge of keeping letters and records
US : an official who is selected by the President and is in charge of a particular department of the government

secretary

noun
sec·​re·​tary | \ ˈse-krə-ˌter-ē How to pronounce secretary (audio) \
plural secretaries

Kids Definition of secretary

1 : a person who is employed to take care of records, letters, and routine work for another person
2 : an officer of a business corporation or society who is in charge of the letters and records and who keeps minutes of meetings
3 : a government official in charge of a department the secretary of education
4 : a writing desk with a top section for books

secretary

noun, often capitalized
sec·​re·​tary
plural secretaries

Legal Definition of secretary

1 : an officer of a business concern who may keep records of directors' and stockholders' meetings and of stock ownership and transfer and help supervise the company's interests
2 : a government officer who superintends an administrative department

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Comments on secretary

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