secretive

adjective
se·​cre·​tive | \ ˈsē-krə-tiv How to pronounce secretive (audio) , si-ˈkrē-\

Definition of secretive

: disposed to secrecy : not open or outgoing in speech, activity, or purposes

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from secretive

secretively adverb
secretiveness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for secretive

silent, taciturn, reticent, reserved, secretive mean showing restraint in speaking. silent implies a habit of saying no more than is needed. the strong, silent type taciturn implies a temperamental disinclination to speech and usually connotes unsociability. taciturn villagers reticent implies a reluctance to speak out or at length, especially about one's own affairs. was reticent about his plans reserved implies reticence and suggests the restraining influence of caution or formality in checking easy informal conversational exchange. greetings were brief, formal, and reserved secretive, too, implies reticence but usually carries a suggestion of deviousness and lack of frankness or of an often ostentatious will to conceal. the secretive research and development division

Examples of secretive in a Sentence

He's very secretive about his work. the intelligence agency remained secretive despite the media's demands for more openness in government

Recent Examples on the Web

Jason—a secretive group of Cold War science advisers—is fighting to survive in the 21st century Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Alex Fox, Science | AAAS, "Top Stories: Monarchs that don’t migrate, Jason stays alive, and human organs in animals," 28 June 2019 Even the most secretive kind of hookups have relied on community. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, "Cruising in the Age of Consent," 19 June 2019 The once very secretive company used to never stream test flights, but then started to get into the habit of live-streaming them a few years ago. Loren Grush, The Verge, "How to watch four rocket launches on a banner day for the space industry," 18 Dec. 2018 This child, feeling isolated and unloved, becomes secretive, devious and manipulative, even dangerous. Joe Morgenstern, WSJ, "‘Summer 1993’ Review: Darkness Under the Spanish Sun," 24 May 2018 But the notoriously secretive Apple could be testing drones for any number of reasons. Don Reisinger, Fortune, "Why Is Apple Interested in a Special U.S. Drone Program?," 9 May 2018 But critics argue that successive governments have become more secretive and intolerant of reporting that causes political embarrassment. Nick Perry, BostonGlobe.com, "Australian opposition calls for review of press freedom," 12 June 2019 But critics argue that successive governments have become more secretive and intolerant of reporting that causes political embarrassment. Washington Post, "Australian opposition calls for review of press freedom," 12 June 2019 Free Joseon, the secretive group that claims to be a provisional government in exile for the North Korean regime, has also called for Ahn’s release on its website, posting a photo of Ahn with Kim Han Sol. Victoria Kim, latimes.com, "Attorneys for ex-Marine accused in North Korean embassy attack say he faces retaliation," 7 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'secretive.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of secretive

1835, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for secretive

back-formation from secretiveness, partial translation of French secrétivité

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about secretive

Statistics for secretive

Last Updated

10 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for secretive

The first known use of secretive was in 1835

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for secretive

secretive

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of secretive

: not letting people see or know what you are doing or thinking : tending to act in secret

secretive

adjective
se·​cre·​tive | \ ˈsē-krə-tiv How to pronounce secretive (audio) , si-ˈkrē-\

Kids Definition of secretive

: tending to act in secret or keep secrets

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on secretive

What made you want to look up secretive? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

characterized by aphorism

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!