[ kon-fi-den-shuhl ]

  1. spoken, written, acted on, etc., in strict privacy or secrecy; secret: a confidential remark.

  2. indicating confidence or intimacy; imparting private matters: a confidential tone of voice.

  1. having another's trust or confidence; entrusted with secrets or private affairs: a confidential secretary.

  2. (of information, a document, etc.)

    • bearing the classification confidential, usually being above restricted and below secret.

    • limited to persons authorized to use information, documents, etc., so classified.: Compare classification (def. 5).

Origin of confidential

First recorded in 1645–55; from Latin confīdenti(a) confidence + -al1

synonym study For confidential

3. See familiar.

Other words for confidential

Other words from confidential

  • con·fi·den·ti·al·i·ty, con·fi·den·tial·ness, noun
  • con·fi·den·tial·ly, adverb
  • non·con·fi·den·tial, adjective
  • non·con·fi·den·tial·ly, adverb
  • non·con·fi·den·tial·ness, noun
  • non·con·fi·den·ti·al·i·ty, noun
  • qua·si-con·fi·den·tial, adjective
  • qua·si-con·fi·den·tial·ly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use confidential in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for confidential


/ (ˌkɒnfɪˈdɛnʃəl) /

  1. spoken, written, or given in confidence; secret; private

  2. entrusted with another's confidence or secret affairs: a confidential secretary

  1. suggestive of or denoting intimacy: a confidential approach

Derived forms of confidential

  • confidentiality or confidentialness, noun
  • confidentially, 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