Origin of secretive1
OTHER WORDS FROM secretivese·cre·tive·ly, adverbse·cre·tive·ness, noun
Words nearby secretive
Other definitions for secretive (2 of 2)
What does secretive mean?
Secretive is commonly used to describe people or organizations that are prone to secrecy—they avoid revealing information about themselves and try to keep their actions private. The word secretive can also be used to describe such actions.
People who are secretive often don’t let other people get to know them very well, often by keeping secrets about their life. They may do this because they have something to hide or because they don’t trust other people.
Organizations described as secretive are often those that hide details about their operations. A secretive company may be one that closely guards information about its product development or financial situation.
Animals described as secretive are those that tend to stay hidden.
Describing things or people as secretive often implies that you are suspicious of them because it seems like they are hiding something.
An unrelated and less common meaning of secretive is based not on secret but on the verb secrete. This sense of secretive means involving the process of secretion—the production and release of substances from specialized cells within an organism, such as glands. For example, the pancreas can be described as secretive in this way because it secretes digestive fluid and insulin. Another word for this is secretory.
Example: I always ask Sylvie about her weekend plans, but she’s so secretive that she only smiles furtively and walks away.
Where does secretive come from?
Some people are secretive about everything—they like their life to be private and they don’t like others knowing much or anything about them. Some artists are secretive about their process. Some companies are known for being secretive about what they’re working on so it doesn’t get leaked to competitors or the public. Some field guides describe certain birds as secretive because they’re known for their tendency to stay hidden, such as by always staying in thick reeds.
Did you know ... ?
What are some other forms related to secretive?
- secret (adjective, noun)
What are some synonyms for secretive?
What are some words that share a root or word element with secretive?
What are some words that often get used in discussing secretive?
How is secretive used in real life?
Describing someone of something as secretive often implies suspicion of that person or thing.
#confessionnight only few people actually know what's happening in my life. i'm trying to be less secretive now
— Jen Pickett (@superninjen) January 22, 2013
Tucked at the bottom of the long indictment against Bannon, prosecutors say they want to seize the assets of his nonprofit Citizens of the American Republic, shedding more light on the secretive political group’s finances.https://t.co/xpEr398N7N
— Citizens for Ethics (@CREWcrew) August 26, 2020
After 2 years of surveying for the secretive birds based on calls alone, our biologists decided to set trail cameras. We now have documented proof of breeding – tiny black rail chicks with an adult walking through a Colorado marsh! pic.twitter.com/R4BDvNcEv0
— Colorado Parks and Wildlife (@COParksWildlife) September 16, 2020
Try using secretive!
Which of the following terms would not be used to describe someone considered secretive?
How to use secretive in a sentence
This year, Mind the Gap, a secretive Silicon Valley donor group supporting progressive candidates, is also sending donors their way, according to Vox.A Nonprofit With Ties to Democrats Is Sending Out Millions of Ballot Applications. Election Officials Wish It Would Stop.|by Joshua Eaton, Lauren Rosenthal and Thy Anh Vo|October 23, 2020|ProPublica
These arachnids are usually secretive, and almost all you meet are neither aggressive nor dangerous.Should I Kill Spiders In My Home? An Entomologist Explains Why Not To|LGBTQ-Editor|October 22, 2020|No Straight News
The review process is highly secretive, but according to the Washington Post, the panel has launched dozens of investigations this year alone, aimed primarily at companies that received investment from China or Russia.How the secretive CFIUS became a powerful weapon in the trade wars|Jeff|October 19, 2020|Fortune
Their plans by all estimations have remained very secretive.What’s behind the badge that powers Google’s local trust layer?|Justin Sanger|October 13, 2020|Search Engine Land
After a somewhat lackluster beginning to his professional running career, Farah and his family moved to Oregon early in 2011 to join the secretive Nike program based at the Beaverton world headquarters.Inside a secret running program at Nike and a win-at-all-costs corporate culture|Rachel King|October 6, 2020|Fortune
The military has been trying to stop current and former special operators from discussing their secretive profession.Exclusive: Bin Laden ‘Shooter’ Under Investigation for Leaking Secrets|Shane Harris|December 23, 2014|DAILY BEAST
They dislike cell phones and they are, for various practical reasons, somewhat secretive.
The mayor responded defiantly with a kind of military pageant that was truly bizarre for such a secretive organization.
The Long Range Strike Bomber may be the most secretive Pentagon aviation program in decades.How the Pentagon Strangles Its Most Advanced Stealth Warplanes|Bill Sweetman|October 13, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Even the arguably more secretive National Security Agency took the Twitter plunge last December.From Hush-Hush To Tweet-Tweet: Why The CIA Is Embracing Social Media|Lloyd Grove|June 11, 2014|DAILY BEAST
How could she be at the same time both cruel and tender, both true and false, frank and secretive, spiritual and sensual?The Wave|Algernon Blackwood
He was a secretive man who shared no secrets with his neighbors if he could help it, yet whose very idiosyncrasies betrayed them.Dorothy at Skyrie|Evelyn Raymond
He was still in no hurry, but he grew cautious now, and secretive.The Range Boss|Charles Alden Seltzer
Some of the tribes are very secretive and stealthy in their movements.Queensland Cousins|Eleanor Luisa Haverfield
If a child finds that no one will speak to it about sexual matters, it must ultimately become secretive about its own sexual life.The Sexual Life of the Child|Albert Moll