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 Applying their secret chili sauce to records by Janet Jackson, Boyz II Men, Mariah Carey and dozens of other stars, Jam and Lewis rank as the most successful production duo in pop history, amassing 16 No. 1 pop songs and 26 No. 1 R&B tunes. Chris Riemenschneider, Star Tribune, "30 essential Black musicians who defined Minnesota's sound," 27 Feb. 2021 Tony Cohen, who helped research the exhibit at the Maritime Museum, said the common idea of the Underground Railroad as a secret network of conductors and agents and safe houses is inaccurate. Mary Carole Mccauley, baltimoresun.com, "Freedom seekers: How the little-told story of the Underground Railroad in Harford County shaped the nation we live in today," 27 Feb. 2021 Joe Glass learns that a secret Russian coup is in the offing. Los Angeles Times, "Movies on TV this week: ‘Gandhi’; ‘Forrest Gump’ and more," 26 Feb. 2021 Their latest hijinks begin when Jerry moves into New York City's most elite hotel on the eve of the celebrity wedding of the century, and a desperate event planner with a secret hires Tom to hunt the mouse down and get him out of the hotel. Ew Staff, EW.com, "What to Watch this Weekend: Ted Lasso, Chadwick Boseman, and more vie for 2021 Golden Globes," 26 Feb. 2021 Online research has always been one of my secret weapons, but so is listening. Heather R Morgan, Forbes, "Why Women Often Beat Men At Negotiation," 25 Feb. 2021 The Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance, or SUWA, challenged the legality of the secret meetings in court, where the group not only lost but also was ordered to pay tens of thousands of dollars in attorney fees to Kane, Garfield and San Juan counties. Brian Maffly, The Salt Lake Tribune, "SUWA can sue over Zinke’s secret meetings with Utah county commissioners over monuments," 25 Feb. 2021 The Navy's future plans for the PakVs are still secret. Wallace Cloud, Popular Mechanics, "The Strange U.S. Navy Hovercraft That Fought in Vietnam," 25 Feb. 2021 Five years later, on October 24, 1952, President Harry Truman signed a secret memorandum, and the National Security Agency was born. Susan Seubert, Smithsonian Magazine, "The Once-Classified Tale of Juanita Moody," 24 Feb. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Mark Hofmann: Pretty often these child molesters – this is like their dirty little secret. Peter Van Sant, CBS News, "Will the discovery of a credible suspect lead to answers in the Madeleine McCann case?," 27 Feb. 2021 Her secret for keeping a healthy smile over the years has been a really easy one — following a regimen. Colleen Kratofil, PEOPLE.com, "Brooke Shields on Recovering from Broken Femur: 'Every Day I Feel Like I'm Having to Begin Again'," 26 Feb. 2021 The new trailer from Pixar finds Luca and his new friend, Alberto, hiding their secret from everyone else in their seaside Italian town — where, to paraphrase another Pixar classic, fish are food, not friends. Justin Curto, Vulture, "Pixar’s Luca Is Call Me By Your Name With a Sea Monster–Size Twist," 25 Feb. 2021 Chong's independent streak, instilled by her mom, may well be her secret to creating the uniquely dreamy spaces her clients love. Amanda Sims Clifford, House Beautiful, "Toronto Designer Natalie Chong Has an Independent Streak That Makes Her Interiors Totally Unique," 19 Feb. 2021 Leavitt said, noting his youthful secret is drinking a lot of Pepsi. Dallas News, "Coordinator 1-on-1: New SMU DC Jim Leavitt discusses career path, why he came to Dallas," 10 Feb. 2021 Why did Fox care about keeping the Rich settlement secret for the final month of the Trump re-election campaign? Ben Smith, New York Times, "Fox Settled a Lawsuit Over Its Lies. But It Insisted on One Unusual Condition.," 17 Jan. 2021 Of course, Lady Whistledown's identity is kept a secret for a reason and who knows what would happen if someone found out. Tamara Fuentes, Seventeen, "Who is Lady Whistledown in "Bridgerton"?," 30 Dec. 2020 Despite the military’s policy at the time of prohibiting gay men and lesbians from serving openly, Gravett, then just 17, enlisted in the Army in 2003 and kept his sexuality a secret for eight years. Ryan Beals, NBC News, "Decade after 'don't ask, don't tell' repeal, a 'hurtful' legacy remains," 22 Dec. 2020

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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Time Traveler for secret

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for secret

Last Updated

1 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Secret.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/secret. Accessed 4 Mar. 2021.

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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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Comments on secret

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