sub rosa

[ suhb roh-zuh ]
/ sʌb ˈroʊ zə /


confidentially; secretly; privately.

Nearby words

  1. suave,
  2. suaviter in modo, fortiter in re,
  3. suavity,
  4. sub,
  5. sub judice,
  6. sub verbo,
  7. sub voce,
  8. sub-,
  9. sub-clause,
  10. sub-editor

Origin of sub rosa

First recorded in 1920–25, sub rosa is from the Latin word sub rosā literally, under the rose, from the ancient use of the rose at meetings as a symbol of the sworn confidence of the participants Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for sub rosa

British Dictionary definitions for sub rosa

sub rosa

/ (ˈrəʊzə) /


in secret

Word Origin for sub rosa

Latin, literally: under the rose; from the rose that, in ancient times, was hung over the council table, as a token of secrecy

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 sub rosa

sub rosa

"privately, secretly," Latin, literally "under the rose," which was regarded as a symbol of secrecy.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper