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

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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 Many are secretive about their trading strategies and technology. Alexander Osipovich, WSJ, "High-Frequency Traders Push Closer to Light Speed With Cutting-Edge Cables," 15 Dec. 2020 Florida has been as secretive about injury news as any SEC team. Christopher Smith, al, "Florida vs. Tennessee betting line, picks, odds and predictions," 4 Dec. 2020 Many institutions are secretive about who manages their money, and the fact that groups of investors will be sharing their picks may help those firms get new clients. Katherine Burton,, "Hedge Funds Face Mounting Pressure With Diversity Questionnaire," 10 Nov. 2020 The White House has been increasingly secretive about outbreaks. Jill Colvin,, "HUD Secretary Ben Carson tests positive for coronavirus as Trump election party draws scrutiny," 9 Nov. 2020 Disney has been typically secretive about what to expect in season two, but based on the trailers, the Force looks strong, literally, with this batch of eight new episodes. cleveland, "‘The Mandalorian’ takes a step into a larger world in season two on Disney+," 27 Oct. 2020 Right now, Amazon is being super secretive about what brands will be participating, but if last year's haul was any indicator, 2020's markdowns are going to be epic. Kelsey Stiegman, Seventeen, "These 2020 Amazon Prime Day Clothing Deals Are Like, Mind-Blowingly Good," 1 Oct. 2020 Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, the man widely described as one of the leading architects of Iran’s secretive military nuclear program, was killed on Friday when his convoy was ambushed on a rural road 40 miles east of Tehran. Zachary Halaschak, Washington Examiner, "Iran changes its story on killing of top nuclear scientist," 2 Dec. 2020 Cody Afshar was a longtime bartender at San Francisco’s Bohemian Club, one of the city’s most exclusive, secretive and male-only clubs, before being laid off early on during the pandemic. Justin Phillips,, "For these unemployed Bay Area hospitality workers, free time meant helping Biden win Nevada," 29 Nov. 2020

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.

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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

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Time Traveler for secretive

Time Traveler

The first known use of secretive was in 1835

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Statistics for secretive

Last Updated

21 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Secretive.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for secretive


How to pronounce secretive (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of secretive

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


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

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