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

One of Gardner’s neighbors is George Shultz, the former secretary of state and Theranos board member. Nico Savidge, The Mercury News, "She saw through Elizabeth Holmes. Now Stanford professor is star in Theranos saga.," 3 June 2019 San Francisco Chronicle The process for presidential hopefuls to get on California’s primary ballot essentially all comes down to the discretion of California’s secretary of state. Julia Wick, latimes.com, "Essential California: Will Apple announce the end of iTunes at today’s developer conference?," 3 June 2019 May 17 news story Jena Griswold was elected to run the business of the office of Colorado’s secretary of state, not to use the position to publicize any personal agenda. Dp Opinion, The Denver Post, "Letters: DIA debacle; Misuse of office; Reality taking hold; Don’t drink, don’t smoke … (6/3/19)," 3 June 2019 If every woman could equal the career pinnacle achieved by America’s first female secretary of state, Madeleine Albright, then the dream of two British entrepreneurs will be delivered. Prue Lewington, Harper's BAZAAR, "This Career Club Is the Global Sisterhood You've Always Wanted," 11 Feb. 2019 Espy, a former congressman and U.S. secretary of agriculture, was born in Mississippi. Lynn Yaeger, Vogue, "In Mississippi Senate Race, Cindy Hyde-Smith Narrowly Defeats Democrat Mike Espy," 28 Nov. 2018 Kemp, Georgia’s Republican secretary of state, aired the commercial on local stations. Brooke Singman, Fox News, "Georgia candidate Kemp triggers uproar with shotgun ad," 2 Oct. 2018 Former presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush and former secretary of state Henry Kissinger are all set to speak at the services. Lauren Hubbard, Town & Country, "Warren Beatty Will Serve as a Pallbearer at John McCain's Funeral," 29 Aug. 2018 West Virginia's secretary of state told CNN that the pilot worked well and that the system passed four audits of various parts of the system. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "Experts criticize West Virginia’s plan for smartphone voting," 7 Aug. 2018

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

7 Jun 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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