- to discharge, generate, or release by the process of secretion.
Origin of secrete1
First recorded in 1700–10; back formation from secretion
- to place out of sight; hide; conceal: squirrels secreting nuts in a hollow tree trunk.
Origin of secrete2
1735–45; alteration of obsolete secret, v. use of secret
SynonymsSee more synonyms for secrete on Thesaurus.com
cover, shroud, disguise. See hide1.
- a steel skullcap of the 17th century, worn under a soft hat.
Origin of secrète
From French; see origin at secret
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for secrete
Your body begins to secrete adrenaline, your cortisol levels rise, and your heart starts pumping faster.How to Overcome Anxiety, Starting Now
April 5, 2014
Then give up to us the seditious papers which you secrete in your house.The Black Tulip
Alexandre Dumas (Pere)
But when it has been milked two or three times it ceases to secrete.The Industries of Animals
But the frere brake his faste in a secrete place in the same house.Shakespeare Jest-Books;
De Spain drew quickly back to where he could secrete himself.Nan of Music Mountain
Frank H. Spearman
You can hardly find them by day, for they are cunning and secrete themselves.Langstroth on the Hive and the Honey-Bee
L. L. Langstroth
- (of a cell, organ, etc) to synthesize and release (a secretion)
C18: back formation from secretion
- (tr) to put in a hiding place
C18: variant of obsolete secret to hide away; see secret (n)
Word Origin and History for secrete
1707, back-formation from secretion. Related: Secreted; secretes; secreting.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
- To generate and release a substance from a cell or a gland.
- To produce and discharge a substance, especially from the cells of specialized glands. For example, the islets of Langerhans in the pancreas secrete the hormone insulin.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.