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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.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for secreting

Historical Examples

  • Women are naturally secretive, and they like to do their own secreting.

    The Lock And Key Library


  • Again he glances inquiringly around, with a view to secreting the corpse.

    The Death Shot

    Mayne Reid

  • The remainder of the tree takes the position or place of secreting.

  • Still, if detected in secreting or feeding me, he would be hanged from his own door-post.

    With Fire and Sword

    Samuel H. M. Byers

  • What a mercy it was that she had thought of secreting it like this!

    True Stories of Girl Heroines

    Evelyn Everett-Green

British Dictionary definitions for secreting


  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 secreting



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

secreting 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.

secreting 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.