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verb (used with object), se·cret·ed, se·cret·ing.
  1. to discharge, generate, or release by the process of secretion.

Origin of secrete1

First recorded in 1700–10; back formation from secretion


verb (used with object), se·cret·ed, se·cret·ing.
  1. to place out of sight; hide; conceal: squirrels secreting nuts in a hollow tree trunk.

Origin of secrete2

1735–45; alteration of obsolete secret, v. use of secret


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cover, shroud, disguise. See hide1.


noun Armor.
  1. a steel skullcap of the 17th century, worn under a soft hat.

Origin of secrète

From French; see origin at secret
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for secretes

Historical Examples

  • He secretes them with the infatuation of a dog interring bones.


    Lawton Mackall

  • It does not bite but secretes an acid which can sting the eyes.

  • It is also known that when the human system is out of order it secretes poison.

    Not Guilty

    Robert Blatchford

  • This is the apparatus which secretes the silk; it is the double silk-bearing gland.

    The Insect World

    Louis Figuier

  • The gastric glands are little tubes, the lining of which secretes the fluid.

    A Civic Biology

    George William Hunter

British Dictionary definitions for secretes


  1. (of a cell, organ, etc) to synthesize and release (a secretion)
Derived Formssecretor, noun

Word Origin

C18: back formation from secretion


  1. (tr) to put in a hiding place

Word Origin

C18: variant of obsolete secret to hide away; see secret (n)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for secretes



1707, back-formation from secretion. Related: Secreted; secretes; secreting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

secretes in Medicine


  1. To generate and release a substance from a cell or a gland.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

secretes in Science


  1. To produce and discharge a substance, especially from the cells of specialized glands. For example, the islets of Langerhans in the pancreas secrete the hormone insulin.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.