[ see-krit ]
See synonyms for: secretsecretssecretlysecretness on

  1. done, made, or conducted without the knowledge of others: secret negotiations.

  2. kept from the knowledge of any but the initiated or privileged: a secret password.

  1. faithful or cautious in keeping confidential matters confidential; close-mouthed; discreet.

  2. designed or working to escape notice, knowledge, or observation: a secret drawer;the secret police.

  3. secluded, sheltered, or withdrawn: a secret hiding place.

  4. beyond ordinary human understanding; esoteric.

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

    • bearing the classification secret.

    • limited to persons authorized to use information documents, etc., so classified.

  1. something that is or is kept secret, hidden, or concealed.

  2. a mystery: the secrets of nature.

  1. a reason or explanation not immediately or generally apparent.

  2. a method, formula, plan, etc., known only to the initiated or the few: the secret of happiness;a trade secret.

  3. a classification assigned to information, a document, etc., considered less vital to security than top-secret but more vital than confidential, and limiting its use to persons who have been cleared, as by various government agencies, as trustworthy to handle such material.: Compare classification (def. 5).

  4. (initial capital letter)Liturgy. a variable prayer in the Roman and other Latin liturgies, said inaudibly by the celebrant after the offertory and immediately before the preface.

Idioms about secret

  1. in secret, unknown to others; in private; secretly: A resistance movement was already being organized in secret.

Origin of secret

First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English secrette, from Old French secret, from Latin sēcrētus “hidden,” originally past participle of sēcernere “to secern

Other words for secret

Opposites for secret

Other words from secret

  • se·cret·ly, adverb
  • se·cret·ness, noun
  • non·se·cret, adjective, noun
  • qua·si-se·cret, adjective
  • sem·i·se·cret, adjective
  • su·per·se·cret, noun
  • ul·tra·se·cret, adjective

Words Nearby secret Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use secret in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for secret


/ (ˈsiːkrɪt) /

  1. kept hidden or separate from the knowledge of others: Related adjective: cryptic

  2. known only to initiates: a secret password

  1. hidden from general view or use: a secret garden

  2. able or tending to keep things private or to oneself

  3. operating without the knowledge of outsiders: a secret society

  4. outside the normal range of knowledge

  1. something kept or to be kept hidden

  2. something unrevealed; mystery

  1. an underlying explanation, reason, etc, that is not apparent: the secret of success

  2. a method, plan, etc, known only to initiates

  3. liturgy a variable prayer, part of the Mass, said by the celebrant after the offertory and before the preface

  4. in the secret among the people who know a secret

Origin of secret

C14: via Old French from Latin sēcrētus concealed, from sēcernere to sift; see secern

Derived forms of secret

  • secretly, 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

Other Idioms and Phrases with secret


see in secret; open secret.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.