trade secret


: something (such as a formula) which has economic value to a business because it is not generally known or easily discoverable by observation and for which efforts have been made to maintain secrecy

Examples of trade secret in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web California’s Right to Repair Act protects manufacturers from divulging trade secrets, licensing intellectual property or distributing source codes. Brianna Taylor, Sacramento Bee, 1 July 2024 Lawyers regularly encourage firms to use broad NDAs as a condition of employment—not only to protect trade secrets, but also to discourage employees from revealing bad employment experiences. Jason Ma, Fortune, 1 July 2024 The court filing redacted key figures to protect Google's trade secrets. Ashley Belanger, Ars Technica, 21 May 2024 Of the arguments that the business group and other opponents have rolled out to oppose the banning of noncompetes, the main one relates to trade secrets, which is probably the scenario first contemplated by contractual noncompetes. New York Daily News Editorial Board, New York Daily News, 25 Apr. 2024 See all Example Sentences for trade secret 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'trade secret.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1825, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of trade secret was in 1825

Dictionary Entries Near trade secret

Cite this Entry

“Trade secret.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Jul. 2024.

Legal Definition

trade secret

trade se·​cret
: a formula, process, device, or item of information used by a business that has economic value because it is not generally known or easily discovered by observation or examination and for which reasonable efforts to maintain secrecy have been made

Note: Trade secrets are a form of intellectual property. Many states have enacted laws which create an action for damages or injunctive relief against misappropriation of trade secrets by improper means. Information contained in a patent is not protected as a trade secret.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!