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

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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 Roger Noriega, a former assistant secretary of state for Western Hemisphere affairs and a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute [AEI], told Fox News. Fox News, "US companies still drilling in Venezuela face sanctions waiver deadline," 15 Jan. 2020 The law required petition circulators to apply with the secretary of state for an identification number, provide personal information and be included in a directory. USA TODAY, "MLK, robot unemployment, Python Bowl: News from around our 50 states," 14 Jan. 2020 Hobbs, elected secretary of state in 2018, told The Republic on Wednesday that system changes have already greatly improved and the remaining fix is on track. Dianna M. Náñez, azcentral, "Arizona may have violated the voting rights of hundreds of thousands of people. Will the state fix problems by Election Day?," 14 Jan. 2020 Polite, subservient digital secretaries like Alexa and Siri are presented as female. Sharone Horowit-hendler, Wired, "Conversational AI Can Propel Social Stereotypes," 14 Jan. 2020 David Schenker, the assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern affairs, confirmed Kassem’s death and expressed the U.S. belief that the terrorism charges against him were meritless. Washington Post, "World Digest: Jan. 13, 2020," 13 Jan. 2020 Private secretaries for the queen, Prince Charles, Prince William, and Prince Harry all took part in the session. Mark Landler, New York Times, "Buckingham Palace in Emergency Session to Resolve Harry and Meghan Crisis," 10 Jan. 2020 Kathleen Sebelius, health secretary for President Barack Obama, said in 2012 that it was generally accepted that the insurance mandate was part of a three-legged stool key to stable markets. Author: Ricardo Alonso-zaldivar, Anchorage Daily News, "‘Obamacare’ mandate: hot for lawyers, ho-hum to consumers," 8 Jan. 2020 Jeff Sandy, cabinet secretary for the Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety, recommended the cadets' firing to Justice. Scottie Andrew And Carma Hassan, CNN, "All the cadets pictured giving a Nazi salute will be fired, West Virginia governor says," 31 Dec. 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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Time Traveler for secretary

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for secretary

Last Updated

18 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Secretary.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/secretary. Accessed 23 January 2020.

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More Definitions for secretary

secretary

noun
How to pronounce secretary (audio)

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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