secret
Pronunciation
  • IPA: /ˈsiːkɹɪt/
  • (weak vowel) IPA: /ˈsiːkɹət/
  • (obsolete) IPA: /ˈsiːkɹɛt/
Noun

secret

  1. (countable) A piece of knowledge that is hidden and intended to be kept hidden. [from late 14th c.]
    "Can you keep a secret?" "Yes." "So can I."
    • To tell our secrets is often folly; to communicate those of others is treachery.
    • 1822 May 28, [Walter Scott], chapter VIII, in The Fortunes of Nigel. [...] In Three Volumes, volume I, Edinburgh: Printed [by James Ballantyne and Co.] for Archibald Constable and Co.; London: Hurst, Robinson, and Co., OCLC 277973588 ↗, page 216 ↗:
      Well, mistress, I am sorry this is a matter I cannot aid you in—it goes against my conscience, and it is an affair above my condition, and beyond my management;—but I will keep your secret.
  2. The key or principle by which something is made clear; the knack.
    The secret to a long-lasting marriage is compromise.
  3. Something not understood or known.
    • 1667, John Milton, “Book X ↗”, in Paradise Lost. A Poem Written in Ten Books, London: Printed [by Samuel Simmons], and are to be sold by Peter Parker […] [a]nd by Robert Boulter […] [a]nd Matthias Walker, […], OCLC 228722708 ↗; republished as Paradise Lost in Ten Books: The Text Exactly Reproduced from the First Edition of 1667: […], London: Basil Montagu Pickering […], 1873, OCLC 230729554 ↗, lines 1468–1469:
      Thou knewſt by name, and all th' ethereal powers, / All ſecrets of the deep, all Natures works,
  4. (uncountable) Private seclusion.
    The work was done in secret, so that nobody could object.
  5. (archaic, in the plural) The genital organs.
  6. (historical) A form of steel skullcap.
  7. (Christianity, often, in the plural) Any prayer spoken inaudibly and not aloud; especially, one of the prayers in the Mass, immediately following the "orate, fratres", said inaudibly by the celebrant.
Synonyms Translations Adjective

secret

  1. Being or kept hidden. [from late 14th c.]
    We went down a secret passage.
  2. (obsolete) Withdrawn from general intercourse or notice; in retirement or secrecy; secluded.
    • 1667, John Milton, “Book I ↗”, in Paradise Lost. A Poem Written in Ten Books, London: Printed [by Samuel Simmons], and are to be sold by Peter Parker […] [a]nd by Robert Boulter […] [a]nd Matthias Walker, […], OCLC 228722708 ↗; republished as Paradise Lost in Ten Books: The Text Exactly Reproduced from the First Edition of 1667: […], London: Basil Montagu Pickering […], 1873, OCLC 230729554 ↗, lines 6–10:
      Sing Heav'nly Muſe, that on the secret top / Of Oreb, or of Sinai, didſt inſpire / That Shepherd, who firſt taught the choſen Seed, / In the Beginning how the Heav'ns and Earth / Roſe out of Chaos: [...]
    • secret in her sapphire cell
    • 1886, Robert Louis Stevenson, “I Make Acquaintance of My Uncle”, in Kidnapped, being Memoirs of the Adventures of David Balfour in the Year 1751: […], London; Paris: Cassell & Company, Limited., OCLC 1056292939 ↗, page 19 ↗:
      "He was a secret man, Alexander—a secret, silent man," he continued.
  3. (obsolete) Faithful to a secret; not inclined to divulge or betray confidence; secretive, separate, apart.
    • 1599, William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of Ivlivs Cæsar”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act II, scene i], page 115 ↗, column 1:
      What neede we any ſpurre, but our owne cauſe / To pricke vs to redreſſe? What other Bond / Than ſecret Romans, that haue ſpoke the Word, / And will not palter?
  4. (obsolete) Separate; distinct.
    • They suppose two other divine hypostases superior thereunto, which were perfectly secret from matter.
Synonyms Antonyms Related terms Translations Verb

secret (secrets, present participle secretting; past and past participle secretted)

  1. (transitive) To make or keep secret. [from late 16th c.]
    • 1984, Peter Scott Lawrence, [http://books.google.com/books?id=DJcx7dx3ZJAC&lpg=PA26&dq=%22secret%20it%20away%22&pg=PA26#v=onepage&q=%22secret%20it%20away%22&f=false| Around the mulberry tree], Firefly Books, p. 26
      [...] she would unfold the silk, press it with a smooth wooden block that she'd heated in the oven, and then once more secret it away.
    • 1986, [http://books.google.com/books?id=jzwEAAAAMBAJ&lpg=PA19&dq=%22secret%20it%20away%22&pg=PA19#v=onepage&q=%22secret%20it%20away%22&f=false| InfoWorld], InfoWorld Media Group, Inc.
      Diskless workstations [...] make it difficult for individuals to copy information [...] onto a diskette and secret it away.
    • 1994, Phyllis Granoff & Koichi Shinohara, [http://books.google.com/books?id=9fEU_l4fSg4C&dq=%22secret+it+away%22&source=gbs_navlinks_s| Monks and magicians: religious biographies in Asia], Mosaic Press, p. 50
      To prevent the elixir from reaching mankind and thereby upsetting the balance of the universe, two gods secret it away.
  2. (transitive) To hide secretly.
    He was so scared for his safety he secreted arms around the house.



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