sub rosa

[ suhb roh-zuh ]
/ sʌb ˈroʊ zə /

adverb

confidentially; secretly; privately.

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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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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