secret

adjective
se·​cret | \ ˈsē-krət How to pronounce secret (audio) \

Definition of secret

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : kept from knowledge or view : hidden
b : marked by the habit of discretion : closemouthed
c : working with hidden aims or methods : undercover a secret agent
d : not acknowledged : unavowed a secret bride
e : conducted in secret a secret trial
2 : remote from human frequentation or notice : secluded
3 : revealed only to the initiated : esoteric
4 : designed to elude observation or detection a secret panel
5 : containing information whose unauthorized disclosure could endanger national security — compare confidential, top secret

secret

noun

Definition of secret (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : something kept hidden or unexplained : mystery
b : something kept from the knowledge of others or shared only confidentially with a few
c : a method, formula, or process used in an art or operation and divulged only to those of one's own company or craft : trade secret
d secrets plural : the practices or knowledge making up the shared discipline or culture of an esoteric society
2 : a prayer traditionally said inaudibly by the celebrant just before the preface of the mass
3 : something taken to be a specific or key to a desired end the secret of longevity
in secret
: in a private place or manner

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Other Words from secret

Adjective

secretly adverb

Choose the Right Synonym for secret

Adjective

secret, covert, stealthy, furtive, clandestine, surreptitious, underhanded mean done without attracting observation. secret implies concealment on any grounds for any motive. met at a secret location covert stresses the fact of not being open or declared. covert intelligence operations stealthy suggests taking pains to avoid being seen or heard especially in some misdoing. the stealthy step of a burglar furtive implies a sly or cautious stealthiness. lovers exchanging furtive glances clandestine implies secrecy usually for an evil, illicit, or unauthorized purpose and often emphasizes the fear of being discovered. a clandestine meeting of conspirators surreptitious applies to action or behavior done secretly often with skillful avoidance of detection and in violation of custom, law, or authority. the surreptitious stockpiling of weapons underhanded stresses fraud or deception. an underhanded trick

Examples of secret in a Sentence

Adjective

Her secret wish is to become a senator. The message was written in secret code. I don't know the secret password. He was sent on a secret mission. They engaged in secret negotiations with the enemy. She tried to keep her marriage secret. They've been very secret about their plans.

Noun

Don't tell him about the party—it's a secret. I'm going to tell you a secret, but you have to promise not to tell anyone else. You always look great. What's your secret? She shared her beauty secrets with the group. The secret to a good sauce is the base. the secrets of the universe one of nature's greatest secrets
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Meanwhile, in a daughter's cheerful, pink bedroom (shown above), a jib door gives the entry the feel of a magical kind of secret passageway. Hadley Keller, House Beautiful, "What's a Jib Door, Anyway?," 27 May 2019 The conference is the first step in the administration’s road map for peace for the region that has been secret for two years, and is aimed at offering a vision for investment in the West Bank, Gaza and neighboring countries, officials said. ... Felicia Schwartz, WSJ, "U.S., Bahrain to Host Economic Forum in Mideast Peace Push," 19 May 2019 Taylor Swift is notorious for hiding secret messages and clues anywhere and everywhere — in her music videos, song lyrics, album booklets, clothing, merchandise, Instagram captions and photos, Tumblr posts, and more. Mary Elizabeth Andriotis, Teen Vogue, "Taylor Swift Put So Many "Old Taylor" References in the "ME!" Music Video," 26 Apr. 2019 The menu rarely varied and included: A big bowl of chilled, shucked oysters at the base of a stairwell, yellow cake with white icing and silver bowls full of guacamole, McAllister’s own secret recipe. Carmina Danini And Melissa Fletcher Stoeltje, San Antonio Express-News, "McAllister remembered for her generosity, vitality," 2 July 2018 House Republicans also are pushing for a resolution that would set a July 6 deadline for the Justice Department to turn over confidential records on the FBI’s use of secret surveillance during the campaign. Chris Megerian, latimes.com, "Rosenstein and FBI chief will testify today in the House on alleged FBI bias in Russia probe," 28 June 2018 All of this comes as the Navy’s experimental drone ship, the Sea Hunter, has reportedly gone from a very public development program to a classified secret program. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "What We Know About the U.S. Navy's Drone Fleet of the Future," 15 Jan. 2019 Barring the creepy-secret storyline, this movie is a solid pick for your next cry fest. Noelle Devoe, Seventeen, "A Definitive Ranking of the 8 Best Nicholas Sparks Movies," 20 Nov. 2018 The list is generated by a top-secret poll of more than 500 booze world insiders from 58 countries, and uses careful guidelines to prevent any one city or bar from hacking the rankings. Mark Ellwood, Condé Nast Traveler, "This Is Officially the Best Bar in the World," 4 Oct. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Jin, who has apparently been making regular donations to the organization since May 2018, had decided to keep his contributions a secret until now. Sara Delgado, Teen Vogue, "BTS Fans Are Proud About Jin Joining UNICEF's Prestigious Honors Club," 31 May 2019 Oscar-winning actress Renée Zellweger anchors the first season, portraying a Silicon Valley investor with more than a few secrets. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Renée Zellweger's Netflix Series What / If Is Out Now on Netflix," 24 May 2019 The twins had a secret almost no one at the hospital knew. Preetika Rana, WSJ, "How a Chinese Scientist Broke the Rules to Create the First Gene-Edited Babies," 10 May 2019 Jeremy is a brilliant scientist who works at Beacon Heights’ prestigious Hotchkiss Technologies and is hiding a shocking secret. Tamara Fuentes, Seventeen, "Meet the Cast and Characters of "Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists"," 14 Mar. 2019 Woman's Day's new food columnist, Ashley Rodriguez, shares her secret for a relaxing Mother's Day morning: a batch of her make-ahead waffles. Ashley Rodriguez, Woman's Day, "A Make-Ahead Waffle Recipe That's Perfect for Mother's Day," 10 Apr. 2019 His secret to creating a high-end space is mixing and matching. Taylor Mead, House Beautiful, "12 Things Most People Don't Know About Jeremiah Brent," 13 Mar. 2019 And Acosta agreed that the deal would be kept secret from the victims, preventing them from showing up in court to try to challenge it. Jane Coaston, Vox, "Jeffrey Epstein, the convicted sex offender who is friends with Donald Trump and Bill Clinton, explained," 22 Feb. 2019 And of course, that's important to the defense's case because Manafort's whole contention is this is the sort of guy who keeps secrets from people who are very close to him. Fox News, "How Rick Gates' testimony impacts Manafort trial," 8 Aug. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'secret.' 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 secret

Adjective

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for secret

Adjective

Middle English, from Anglo-French secré, secret, from Latin secretus, from past participle of secernere to separate, distinguish, from se- apart + cernere to sift — more at secede, certain

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Dictionary Entries near secret

secours

secrecy

sec reg

secret

secreta

secret admirer

secretage

Statistics for secret

Last Updated

3 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for secret

The first known use of secret was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for secret

secret

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of secret

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: kept hidden from others : known to only a few people
: keeping information hidden from others

secret

noun

English Language Learners Definition of secret (Entry 2 of 2)

: a fact or piece of information that is kept hidden from other people
: a special or unusual way of doing something to achieve a good result
: something that cannot be explained

secret

adjective
se·​cret | \ ˈsē-krət How to pronounce secret (audio) \

Kids Definition of secret

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : hidden from the knowledge of others a secret staircase Keep your plans secret.
2 : done, made, or working in a way that no other or only a few other people know about a secret attack a secret agent

Other Words from secret

secretly adverb

secret

noun

Kids Definition of secret (Entry 2 of 2)

: something kept or planned to be kept from others' knowledge

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More from Merriam-Webster on secret

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for secret

Spanish Central: Translation of secret

Nglish: Translation of secret for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of secret for Arabic Speakers

Comments on secret

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