Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

secret

[see-krit]
See more synonyms for secret on Thesaurus.com
adjective
  1. done, made, or conducted without the knowledge of others: secret negotiations.
  2. kept from the knowledge of any but the initiated or privileged: a secret password.
  3. faithful or cautious in keeping confidential matters confidential; close-mouthed; reticent.
  4. designed or working to escape notice, knowledge, or observation: a secret drawer; the secret police.
  5. secluded, sheltered, or withdrawn: a secret hiding place.
  6. beyond ordinary human understanding; esoteric.
  7. (of information, a document, etc.)
    1. bearing the classification secret.
    2. limited to persons authorized to use information documents, etc., so classified.
Show More
noun
  1. something that is or is kept secret, hidden, or concealed.
  2. a mystery: the secrets of nature.
  3. a reason or explanation not immediately or generally apparent.
  4. a method, formula, plan, etc., known only to the initiated or the few: the secret of happiness; a trade secret.
  5. a classification assigned to information, a document, etc., considered less vital to security than top-secret but more vital than confidential, and limiting its use to persons who have been cleared, as by various government agencies, as trustworthy to handle such material.Compare classification(def 5).
  6. (initial capital letter) Liturgy. a variable prayer in the Roman and other Latin liturgies, said inaudibly by the celebrant after the offertory and immediately before the preface.
Show More
Idioms
  1. in secret, unknown to others; in private; secretly: A resistance movement was already being organized in secret.
Show More

Origin of secret

1350–1400; Middle English secrette < Old French secret < Latin sēcrētus hidden, orig. past participle of sēcernere to secern
Related formsse·cret·ly, adverbse·cret·ness, nounnon·se·cret, adjective, nounnon·se·cret·ly, adverbqua·si-se·cret, adjectivequa·si-se·cret·ly, adverbsem·i·se·cret, adjectivesem·i·se·cret·ly, adverbsu·per·se·cret, nounul·tra·se·cret, adjectiveul·tra·se·cret·ly, adverbun·se·cret·ly, adverb

Synonyms

See more synonyms for secret on Thesaurus.com
1. clandestine, hidden, concealed, covert. 1, 2. private, confidential. 3. secretive. 6. occult, obscure, mysterious.

Antonyms

1. open, manifest.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for secretly

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • I secretly hoped for a silk, but Mother, to whom I suppose I am even now—now!

  • The arrival of Winkleman would, he secretly admitted, upset him completely.

    The Leopard Woman

    Stewart Edward White

  • Plainly, Evadna was secretly laughing at her perturbed interest in the matter.

    Good Indian

    B. M. Bower

  • Secretly he was hoping that Evadna heard the explanation, and he raised his voice purposely.

    Good Indian

    B. M. Bower

  • From which I infer that you secretly think her manner equal to her looks?'

    Little Dorrit

    Charles Dickens


British Dictionary definitions for secretly

secret

adjective
  1. kept hidden or separate from the knowledge of othersRelated adjective: cryptic
  2. known only to initiatesa secret password
  3. hidden from general view or usea secret garden
  4. able or tending to keep things private or to oneself
  5. operating without the knowledge of outsidersa secret society
  6. outside the normal range of knowledge
Show More
noun
  1. something kept or to be kept hidden
  2. something unrevealed; mystery
  3. an underlying explanation, reason, etc, that is not apparentthe secret of success
  4. a method, plan, etc, known only to initiates
  5. liturgy a variable prayer, part of the Mass, said by the celebrant after the offertory and before the preface
  6. in the secret among the people who know a secret
Show More
Derived Formssecretly, adverb

Word Origin

C14: via Old French from Latin sēcrētus concealed, from sēcernere to sift; see secern
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 secretly

adv.

early 15c., from secret (adj.) + -ly (2).

Show More

secret

n.

late 14c., from Latin secretus "set apart, withdrawn; hidden, concealed, private," past participle of secernere "to set apart, part, divide; exclude," from se- "without, apart," properly "on one's own" (see se-) + cernere "separate" (see crisis).

As an adjective from late 14c., from French secret, adjective use of noun. Open secret is from 1828. Secret agent first recorded 1715; secret service is from 1737; secret weapon is from 1936.

Show More

secret

v.

"to keep secret" (described in OED as "obsolete"), 1590s, from secret (n.). Related: Secreted; secreting.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with secretly

secret

see in secret; open secret.

Show More
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.