under secretary

or un·der·sec·re·tar·y


noun (often initial capital letters)

an official who is subordinate to a principal secretary, as in the U.S. cabinet: Under Secretary of the Treasury.

Origin of under secretary

First recorded in 1680–90
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for undersecretary

Contemporary Examples of undersecretary

Historical Examples of undersecretary

  • Was Undersecretary for the Colonies in a late Administration.

  • The Undersecretary made an answer to one of Simon's remarks.

    Cue for Quiet

    Thomas L. Sherred

  • Mr. Undersecretary, who's been doing all the fighting, and who's been starting all these wars?

    Cue for Quiet

    Thomas L. Sherred

  • Goulburn was a young man who had served as an undersecretary of state.

  • John Harris Darby, first undersecretary, was dispatched in his place.

    Bear Trap

    Alan Edward Nourse

British Dictionary definitions for undersecretary


noun plural -taries

(in Britain)
  1. any of various senior civil servants in certain government departments
  2. short for undersecretary of state: any of various high officials subordinate only to the minister in charge of a department
(in the US) a high government official subordinate only to the secretary in charge of a department
Derived Formsundersecretaryship, noun
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