spoken, written, acted on, etc., in strict privacy or secrecy; secret: a confidential remark.
indicating confidence or intimacy; imparting private matters: a confidential tone of voice.
having another's trust or confidence; entrusted with secrets or private affairs: a confidential secretary.
(of information, a document, etc.)
  1. bearing the classification confidential, usually being above restricted and below secret.
  2. limited to persons authorized to use information, documents, etc., so classified.Compare classification(def 5).

Nearby words

  1. confidence limits,
  2. confidence man,
  3. confidence trick,
  4. confident,
  5. confidente,
  6. confidential communication,
  7. confidentiality,
  8. confidentially,
  9. confidently,
  10. confiding

Origin of confidential

1645–55; < Latin confīdenti(a) confidence + -al1

Related forms Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for confidential

British Dictionary definitions for confidential



spoken, written, or given in confidence; secret; private
entrusted with another's confidence or secret affairsa confidential secretary
suggestive of or denoting intimacya confidential approach
Derived Formsconfidentiality or confidentialness, nounconfidentially, adverb

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 confidential



1759, from Latin confidentia (see confidence) + -al (1). Related: Confidentiality; confidentially.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper