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 The same day the United States killed top Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani, the military launched another secret mission targeting a senior Iranian military official in Yemen. Caitlin Yilek, Washington Examiner, "On day US killed Soleimani, it launched strike that failed to kill top Iranian in Yemen," 10 Jan. 2020 And it’s no secret Mack is still working to unlock freshman David Johnson’s potential and work him into the lineup. Lucas Aulbach, The Courier-Journal, "Darius Perry's heroics show Louisville 'may have to do it by committee' at point guard," 8 Jan. 2020 The two have embarked on a whirlwind romance, going from a secret summer courtship to an engagement in what seemed like the blink of an eye. Lynsey Eidell, Glamour, "Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s Relationship: A Complete Timeline," 8 Jan. 2020 This black plastic folding board looks like a sunny stencil kit, but is your secret weapon to flat, neat piles of perfectly organized shirts and pants. Popular Science, "Laundry accessories to make your life a little easier," 3 Jan. 2020 The prequel to the Kingsman film series traces the origins of the group of suave secret agents. Adam Epstein, Quartz, "All the movies and TV shows you need to know about in 2020," 31 Dec. 2019 So Marianne must undertake a nearly impossible feat: observing Héloïse imperceptibly on their afternoon walks and painting her in secret afterward. Hannah Giorgis, The Atlantic, "Portrait of a Lady on Fire," 11 Dec. 2019 Based on a European toy line, Playmobil tells the tale of secret agent Rex Dasher (Daniel Radcliffe), who partners up with a food truck driver (Jim Gaffigan) and a savvy civilian (Anya Taylor-Joy) to rescue citizens who have vanished into thin air. Tyler Aquilina, EW.com, "Playmobil: The Movie bombs at box office with historically low opening weekend," 9 Dec. 2019 Draines new business came in full-circle with her past as a secret agent when her team worked the 25th annual ESSENCE Fest providing security for Mrs. Obama during her special appearance. Brittney Oliver, Essence, "#BlackGirlExcellence: Meet The Former Secret Agent To The Obamas Who Launched Her Own Security Company," 5 Dec. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Trump dismissed the notion that Americans have a right to know specifics about the future plots, even if intelligence methods and sources are kept secret. Caitlin Yilek, Washington Examiner, "Trump: Iran planned to attack four embassies," 10 Jan. 2020 Whether season 3 of Big Little Lies is on its way has yet to be revealed, but for fans of author Liane Moriarty, another show full of secrets, deception, and fabulously dressed women is already on its way. Kaitlin Reilly, refinery29.com, "Nine Perfect Strangers Is The Next Big Little Lies-Style TV Mystery," 8 Jan. 2020 This authority is extremely broad, especially when the actions must, by their nature, be kept secret from the intended target. Alan M. Dershowtiz, WSJ, "Easy Call: The Strike on Soleimani Was Lawful," 5 Jan. 2020 His exposure of state secrets about official surveillance methods and programs, Snowden claims, was in the interest of serving something larger than the laws of the state. Michael Taylor, ExpressNews.com, "Taylor: Snowden’s important warning on surveillance," 3 Jan. 2020 At just 20 years old, this young man has figured out many of the secrets to living one’s best life. Caryn M. Sullivan, Twin Cities, "Caryn M. Sullivan: ‘Rowing the boat,’ young Casey O’Brien seems to have learned the secrets to living a good life," 29 Dec. 2019 The things government officials want to keep secret are usually the things everybody needs to know. al, "Decatur has a toxic problem. An NDA could keep details secret.," 20 Dec. 2019 Reporters were under strict instructions to keep the trip a secret to ensure the president's safety in the country. Arkansas Online, "Trump visit surprises troops in Afghanistan," 29 Nov. 2019 Under federal law, almost all the information about guns used in crimes is kept secret from the public. USA Today, "Security giant G4S has lost hundreds of guns. Here’s where we found them," 16 Dec. 2019

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

14 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Secret.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/secretly. Accessed 24 January 2020.

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More Definitions for secret

secret

adjective
How to pronounce secret (audio)

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

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