• synonyms


  1. pertaining to secretion.
  2. performing the process of secretion.
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noun, plural se·cre·to·ries.
  1. a secretory organ, vessel, or the like.
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Origin of secretory

First recorded in 1685–95; secret(ion) + -ory1
Related formsnon·se·cre·to·ry, adjective, noun, plural non·se·cre·to·ries.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for secretory

Historical Examples of secretory

  • Secretory phenomena; vascular phenomena; perspirations, etc.

    Metapsychical Phenomena

    J. Maxwell

  • The real reason for their discomfort is not secretory, but motor.


    James J. Walsh

  • Associated words: secretive, secretory, confide, confidential.

    Putnam's Word Book

    Louis A. Flemming

  • The secretory part of the various glandular structures belonging to the skin is invariably formed from the epidermis.

  • Probably the secretory glands are somewhat inactive or sluggish in the healthy fat individual.

    Diet and Health

    Lulu Hunt Peters

British Dictionary definitions for secretory


  1. of, relating to, or producing a secretiona secretory cell; secretory function
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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 secretory


1690s; see secrete + -ory.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

secretory in Medicine


  1. Relating to or performing secretion.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.