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
1
: one employed to handle correspondence and manage routine and detail work for a superior
2
a
: 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
4
b
: a writing desk with a top section for books
secretarial adjective
secretaryship noun

Illustration of secretary

Illustration of secretary
  • secretary 4b

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.
Recent Examples on the Web Non-instructional staffers at the biggest public colleges in the state, including museum workers, grant writers, groundskeepers, teacher aides, secretaries and more have already fully been decertified, according to the state. Daniel Rivero, Miami Herald, 21 Feb. 2024 Caspar Weinberger was one of the most controversial and consequential U.S. secretaries of defense. Foreign Affairs, 20 Feb. 2024 Priti Patel, Britain’s then home secretary, approved the extradition request in 2022. Megan Specia, New York Times, 20 Feb. 2024 My experience includes volunteering as treasurer and secretary of my homeowners association. The San Diego Union-Tribune Staff, San Diego Union-Tribune, 20 Feb. 2024 The measure directs district courts to send the secretary of corrections a death warrant within 30 days after a final judgment. Katie Bernard, Kansas City Star, 16 Feb. 2024 After his death, there was a brief legal dispute over the estate between Helga and Jean Fracasse, Chandler’s secretary, but Helga, whom Chandler had proposed to just before his death, prevailed. Nate Rogers, Los Angeles Times, 15 Feb. 2024 The secretary said the passenger bridges are integral to getting people on and off their flights in a timely manner. Mary Ramsey, Charlotte Observer, 15 Feb. 2024 The National Partnership for Women & Families has earned praise previously from former first ladies Michelle Obama and Hillary Clinton (during the latter’s tenure as secretary of state). Dell Cameron Andrew Couts, WIRED, 14 Feb. 2024 See More

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

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near secretary

Cite this Entry

“Secretary.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/secretary. Accessed 28 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

secretary

noun
sec·​re·​tary ˈsek-rə-ˌter-ē How to pronounce secretary (audio)
plural secretaries
1
: a person employed to handle records, letters, and routine work for another person
2
: an officer of a business corporation or society who has charge of the letters and records
3
: a government official in charge of a division
Secretary of State
4
: a desk with a top section for books
secretarial adjective

Legal Definition

secretary

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

More from Merriam-Webster on secretary

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