sec·​re·​tary-gen·​er·​al ˈse-krə-ˌter-ē-ˈjen-rəl How to pronounce secretary-general (audio)
plural secretaries-general
: a principal administrative officer
secretary-general of the United Nations

Examples of secretary-general in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Such support undoubtedly contributes to the enthusiasm many senior UN officials, including the secretary-general, have shown for the BRI. Elizabeth Economy, Foreign Affairs, 23 Apr. 2024 When Kofi Annan, the then secretary-general of the United Nations, visited Halilaj’s refugee camp, Halilaj showed him a large drawing of a child watching a massacre. Vogue, 15 Apr. 2024 The laborers union also paid to help elect Valentine Macedo, the local LIUNA secretary-general, and his son, also named Valentine Macedo, to the 41-member central committee. Jeff McDonald, San Diego Union-Tribune, 7 Apr. 2024 Following a post on X by the secretary-general about trucks waiting at Rafah, COGAT posted a photo of aid waiting to be collected on the Gaza side of the Kerem Shalom border crossing with Israel. Ruth Marks Eglash, Fox News, 28 Mar. 2024 The United Nations secretary-general’s spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said Wednesday that the transitional council under the CARICOM agreement for Haiti is the path forward. Anneclaire Stapleton, CNN, 13 Mar. 2024 The First Committee of the General Assembly voted in November 2023 to task the UN secretary-general with preparing a report on autonomous weapons, which advocates of a ban hope will be the first step toward a mandate for negotiating a treaty. Paul Scharre, Foreign Affairs, 29 Feb. 2024 Rutte is the front-runner to succeed NATO secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg, who will step down in October, according to Reuters. Chris Pandolfo, Fox News, 17 Feb. 2024 On Monday, Stéphane Dujarric, a spokesman for the United Nations secretary-general, suggested that the U.N. would play no part in Israel’s evacuations plans. Hiba Yazbek, New York Times, 12 Feb. 2024

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

Word History

First Known Use

1701, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of secretary-general was in 1701

Dictionary Entries Near secretary-general

Cite this Entry

“Secretary-general.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


plural secretaries-general
: a principal officer of administration
secretary-general of the United Nations
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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