top secret


Definition of top secret

1 : protected by a high degree of secrecy a top secret weapon a top secret meeting
2a : containing or being information whose unauthorized disclosure could result in exceptionally grave danger to the nation top secret messages — compare confidential, secret
b : of or relating to top secret documents a top secret clearance

Examples of top secret in a Sentence

The mission is top secret.
Recent Examples on the Web Four days after delivering its top secret cargo, the ship was sunk by Japanese torpedoes on July 30, 1945. USA TODAY, "Congress awards its highest honor to USS Indianapolis crew on 75th anniversary of its sinking," 30 July 2020 Four days after delivering its top secret cargo, the ship was sunk by Japanese torpedoes on July 30, 1945. Matthew Daly, Star Tribune, "Congress awards its highest honor to USS Indianapolis crew," 30 July 2020 Net assessments include top secret details of long-term American military capabilities, as well as those of adversaries. Kerry Picket, Washington Examiner, "Grassley amendment to defense budget would reduce power of Pentagon think tank," 3 July 2020 Being added to the index is a badge of honor for companies, but any list revisions are kept top secret among S&P’s selection committee. Natalie Walters, Dallas News, "Tyler Technologies gets a spot on the coveted S&P 500 Index, joining the big leagues with Facebook and Apple," 19 June 2020 The former analyst, Henry Kyle Frese, 31, pleaded guilty in the United States District Court in eastern Virginia to willful transmission of top secret national defense information. Michael Levenson, New York Times, "Former Pentagon Analyst Pleads Guilty to Sharing Classified Information," 20 Feb. 2020 Kelly’s change only applies to clearances for access to the apex of the classification pyramid — top secret and sensitive compartmented information — not to lower-level clearances required to handle secret or confidential information. Washington Post, "Trump says son-in-law’s clearance is up to Kelly," 23 Feb. 2018 According to a royal aide who spoke to The Sun this week, Queen Elizabeth's top secret code name is not exactly action movie-esque. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "The Queen's Top Secret Security Code Name Is Sharon, Apparently," 13 Oct. 2019 Grease: Rydell High Who is in the cast?: The Rydell High cast is currently top secret. Ariana Romero,, "HBO Stans — These Are The New HBO Max Series You Actually Want To Watch," 15 Jan. 2020

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

1944, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of top secret was in 1944

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Last Updated

11 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Top secret.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for top secret

top secret


English Language Learners Definition of top secret

: kept completely secret by high government officials

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