secretive

adjective se·cre·tive \ ˈsē-krə-tiv , si-ˈkrē- \
Updated on: 6 Dec 2017

Definition of secretive

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

secretively

adverb

secretiveness

noun

Examples of secretive in a Sentence

  1. He's very secretive about his work.

  2. the intelligence agency remained secretive despite the media's demands for more openness in government

Recent Examples of secretive from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of secretive

back-formation from secretiveness, partial translation of French secrétivité

Synonym Discussion of 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

SECRETIVE Defined for English Language Learners

secretive

adjective

Definition of secretive for English Language Learners

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


SECRETIVE Defined for Kids

secretive

adjective se·cre·tive \ ˈsē-krə-tiv , si-ˈkrē- \

Definition of secretive for Students

: tending to act in secret or keep secrets


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