Dictionary.com

sub rosa

[ suhb roh-zuh ]
/ sʌb ˈroʊ zə /
Save This Word!

adverb
confidentially; secretly; privately.
QUIZ
WILL YOU SAIL OR STUMBLE ON THESE GRAMMAR QUESTIONS?
Smoothly step over to these common grammar mistakes that trip many people up. Good luck!
Question 1 of 7
Fill in the blank: I can’t figure out _____ gave me this gift.

Origin of sub rosa

First recorded in 1650–60; from Latin 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, based on the Greek myth that Aphrodite gave a rose to her son Eros, who then gave the rose to Harpocrates, the god of silence and secrets, to ensure that Aphrodite’s dalliances remained hidden
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use sub rosa in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for sub rosa

sub rosa
/ (ˈrəʊzə) /

adverb
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
FEEDBACK