[see-kri-tiv, si-kree-]


having or showing a disposition to secrecy; reticent: He seems secretive about his new job.

Nearby words

  1. secretary of state,
  2. secretary-general,
  3. secrete,
  4. secretin,
  5. secretion,
  6. secretively,
  7. secretly,
  8. secretoinhibitory,
  9. secretomotor,
  10. secretor

Origin of secretive

1425–75; late Middle English; back formation from secretiveness (itself modeled on French secrétivité). See secret, -ive

SYNONYMS FOR secretive
Related formsse·cre·tive·ly, adverbse·cre·tive·ness, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for secretively

British Dictionary definitions for secretively



inclined to secrecy; reticent
another word for secretory
Derived Formssecretively, adverbsecretiveness, noun

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 secretively



"inclined to secrecy," 1815 (implied in secretiveness); see secret (n.) + -ive. The word also was in Middle English with a sense "secret, hidden" (mid-15c.). Related: Secretively.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper