noun French Furniture.

any writing desk resembling a secretary.

Origin of secretaire

1810–20; < French secrétaire secretary Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for secretaire

bureau, davenport, escritoire, desk, secretary

Examples from the Web for secretaire

Historical Examples of secretaire

  • She got up and went back to the secretaire, as if trying to restrain herself.

  • She sat down at the secretaire, and glanced over the page of figures.

  • And he tapped the veneered top of the secretaire with his forefinger.

    The Lion's Skin

    Rafael Sabatini

  • She had closed and locked the secretaire and she handed the man the key.

    The Green Rust

    Edgar Wallace

  • Mrs. Soher began to dust a secretaire, talking all the while to her niece.

    The Silver Lining

    John Roussel

British Dictionary definitions for secretaire



an enclosed writing desk, usually having an upper cabinet section

Word Origin for secretaire

C19: from French secrétaire; see secretary
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 secretaire

cabinet for private papers, 1771, from French secrétaire (13c.), from Medieval Latin secretarius (see secretary). Englished form secretary is attested in this sense from 1803.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper