- done, made, or conducted without the knowledge of others: secret negotiations.
- kept from the knowledge of any but the initiated or privileged: a secret password.
- faithful or cautious in keeping confidential matters confidential; close-mouthed; reticent.
- designed or working to escape notice, knowledge, or observation: a secret drawer; the secret police.
- secluded, sheltered, or withdrawn: a secret hiding place.
- beyond ordinary human understanding; esoteric.
- (of information, a document, etc.)
- bearing the classification secret.
- limited to persons authorized to use information documents, etc., so classified.
- something that is or is kept secret, hidden, or concealed.
- a mystery: the secrets of nature.
- a reason or explanation not immediately or generally apparent.
- a method, formula, plan, etc., known only to the initiated or the few: the secret of happiness; a trade secret.
- a classification assigned to information, a document, etc., considered less vital to security than top-secret but more vital than confidential, and limiting its use to persons who have been cleared, as by various government agencies, as trustworthy to handle such material.Compare classification(def 5).
- (initial capital letter) Liturgy. a variable prayer in the Roman and other Latin liturgies, said inaudibly by the celebrant after the offertory and immediately before the preface.
- in secret, unknown to others; in private; secretly: A resistance movement was already being organized in secret.
Origin of secret
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
- kept hidden or separate from the knowledge of othersRelated adjective: cryptic
- known only to initiatesa secret password
- hidden from general view or usea secret garden
- able or tending to keep things private or to oneself
- operating without the knowledge of outsidersa secret society
- outside the normal range of knowledge
- something kept or to be kept hidden
- something unrevealed; mystery
- an underlying explanation, reason, etc, that is not apparentthe secret of success
- a method, plan, etc, known only to initiates
- liturgy a variable prayer, part of the Mass, said by the celebrant after the offertory and before the preface
- in the secret among the people who know a secret
Word Origin and History for in secret
late 14c., from Latin secretus "set apart, withdrawn; hidden, concealed, private," past participle of secernere "to set apart, part, divide; exclude," from se- "without, apart," properly "on one's own" (see se-) + cernere "separate" (see crisis).
As an adjective from late 14c., from French secret, adjective use of noun. Open secret is from 1828. Secret agent first recorded 1715; secret service is from 1737; secret weapon is from 1936.
"to keep secret" (described in OED as "obsolete"), 1590s, from secret (n.). Related: Secreted; secreting.
Idioms and Phrases with in secret
Unknown to others, privately. For example, They met in secret, or, as Shakespeare put it in Love's Labour's Lost (5:2): “One word in secret.” [Second half of 1400s]