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

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 See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The messages had to be kept secret, and the tri-colored tortilla was a quiet form of resistance. Andrea Aliseda, Bon Appétit, 10 June 2022 But behind her monumental achievement was a well kept secret, her race. The Editors, Town & Country, 10 June 2022 Many employers don’t relish sharing pay data that’s long been kept secret. Jena Mcgregor, Forbes, 9 June 2022 But the identity of the Gerber baby was kept secret during the following decades, sparking rumors and guesses that drove many to believe Humphrey Bogart and Elizabeth Taylor were the face in the highly recognizable logo. Nicole Acevedo, NBC News, 4 June 2022 Sometimes the history of a DuPage forest preserve is simply forgotten, but other times it is purposely kept secret. Jordan Countryman, Chicago Tribune, 3 June 2022 The casualties here are largely kept secret to protect morale among troops and the general public. Sudarsan Raghavan, Anchorage Daily News, 27 May 2022 Nonetheless, officials compiled an in-house list of alleged abusers that was kept secret, the report revealed. Frank E. Lockwood, Arkansas Online, 24 May 2022 Top 5 podcast about the stunt casting, which was kept secret until the episode dropped. Jackie Strause, The Hollywood Reporter, 12 May 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun And it’s not exactly a secret that the two Bobs are barely on speaking terms these days. Jennifer Maas, Variety, 23 June 2022 So what's his secret to getting along well with others for what can be an intense co-writing experience? Fox News, 18 June 2022 Her friend had shared her secret with the fraternity’s president, who was a resident adviser and required to report it. Heather Hollingsworth, Chicago Tribune, 16 June 2022 Another timeline features their adult characters grappling with the longtime trauma while attempting to keep their secret about what went on in the woods. Glenn Garner, PEOPLE.com, 13 June 2022 Be prepared, because everyone around will be pestering you for your secret. Grooming Playbook, The Salt Lake Tribune, 10 June 2022 Also, my No. 1 secret is, beauty comes from the eyes. Mandy Mclaren, The Courier-Journal, 8 June 2022 What was her secret, according to the piece? Discipline. Julie Thomas, Forbes, 6 June 2022 Emery doesn’t drink alcohol, nor coffee, but her secret to longevity? San Diego Union-Tribune, 2 June 2022 See More

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.

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

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

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Dictionary Entries Near secret

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Last Updated

18 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Secret.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/secret. Accessed 2 Jul. 2022.

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More Definitions for secret

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

More from Merriam-Webster on secret

Nglish: Translation of secret for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of secret for Arabic Speakers

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