secretary

[ sek-ri-ter-ee ]
/ ˈsɛk rɪˌtɛr i /

noun, plural sec·re·tar·ies.

Origin of secretary

1350–1400; Middle English secretarie one trusted with private or secret matters; confidant < Medieval Latin sēcrētārius < Latin sēcrēt(um) secret (noun) + -ārius -ary
Related formssec·re·tar·y·ship, nounsub·sec·re·tar·y, noun, plural sub·sec·re·tar·ies.sub·sec·re·tar·y·ship, nounun·der·sec·re·tar·y·ship, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for secretary

British Dictionary definitions for secretary

secretary

/ (ˈsɛkrətrɪ, -ərɪ) /

noun plural -taries

Derived Formssecretarial (ˌsɛkrɪˈtɛərɪəl), adjectivesecretaryship, noun

Word Origin for secretary

C14: from Medieval Latin sēcrētārius, from Latin sēcrētum something hidden; see secret
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 secretary

secretary


n.

late 14c., "person entrusted with secrets," from Medieval Latin secretarius "clerk, notary, confidential officer, confidant," a title applied to various confidential officers, noun use of adjective meaning "private, secret, pertaining to private or secret matters" (cf. Latin secretarium "a council-chamber, conclave, consistory"), from Latin secretum "a secret, a hidden thing" (see secret (n.)).

Meaning "person who keeps records, write letters, etc.," originally for a king, first recorded c.1400. As title of ministers presiding over executive departments of state, it is from 1590s. The word also is used in both French and English to mean "a private desk," sometimes in French form secretaire. The South African secretary bird so called (1786) in reference to its crest, which, when smooth, resembles a pen stuck over the ear. Cf. Late Latin silentiarius "privy councilor, 'silentiary," from Latin silentium "a being silent."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper