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under secretary

or undersecretary

[uhn-der-sek-ri-ter-ee] /ˈʌn dərˈsɛk rɪˌtɛr i/
noun, (often initial capital letters)
an official who is subordinate to a principal secretary, as in the U.S. cabinet:
Under Secretary of the Treasury.
Origin of under secretary
First recorded in 1680-90 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for undersecretary
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Was undersecretary for the Colonies in a late Administration.

  • The undersecretary made an answer to one of Simon's remarks.

    Cue for Quiet Thomas L. Sherred
  • Mr. undersecretary, who's been doing all the fighting, and who's been starting all these wars?

    Cue for Quiet Thomas L. Sherred
  • Goulburn was a young man who had served as an undersecretary of state.

  • John Harris Darby, first undersecretary, was dispatched in his place.

    Bear Trap Alan Edward Nourse
British Dictionary definitions for undersecretary


noun (pl) -taries
(in Britain)
  1. any of various senior civil servants in certain government departments
  2. short for undersecretary of state: any of various high officials subordinate only to the minister in charge of a department
(in the US) a high government official subordinate only to the secretary in charge of a department
Derived Forms
undersecretaryship, noun
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
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