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noun, plural se·cre·cies for 5.
  1. the state or condition of being secret, hidden, or concealed: a meeting held in secrecy.
  2. the state of being apart from other people; privacy; seclusion.
  3. ability to keep a secret.
  4. the habit or characteristic of being secretive; reticence.
  5. Archaic. something that is secret or mysterious: the secrecies of nature.
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Origin of secrecy

1375–1425; obsolete secre (< Middle French secré secret) + -cy; replacing late Middle English secretee, equivalent to secre + -tee -ty2
Related formsan·ti·se·cre·cy, adjectivenon·se·cre·cy, noun, plural non·se·cre·cies.pro·se·cre·cy, adjectivesem·i·se·cre·cy, nounsu·per·se·cre·cy, noun, plural su·per·se·cre·cies.


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

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Examples from the Web for secrecy

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • I don't pretend to understand your game, but you may rely on my secrecy.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • He tried to swear Edith and me to secrecy, but we refused to be sworn.

  • Secrecy was now out of the question and it was well that he was moving thus in the open.


    Mr. and Mrs. Haldeman-Julius

  • However, I'll take it out, as you wish it, and make the full stop at "secrecy."

  • Tom and I are trying to solve the mystery, and secrecy is of the greatest importance.

British Dictionary definitions for secrecy


noun plural -cies
  1. the state or quality of being secret
  2. the state of keeping something secret
  3. the ability or tendency to keep things secret
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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 secrecy


1570s, from secretee, "quality of being secret" (early 15c.), from Old French secré, variant of secret (see secret (n.)) + -ty (2). Form altered on model of primacy, etc.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper