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- Kept, or meant to be kept, secret within a certain circle of persons; not intended to be known publicly
- Synonyms: private, classified, off the record, privileged, secret, dern (obsolete)
- Antonyms: public, on the record
- The newspaper claims a leaked confidential report by the government admits to problems with corrupt MPs.
- (dated) Inclined to share confidences; (of things) making people inclined to share confidences; involving the sharing of confidences.
- Sitting in front of the fire, they became quite confidential, and began to gossip.
- (dated) Having someone's confidence or trust; having a position requiring trust; worthy of being trusted with confidences.
- a confidential agent; a confidential servant; a confidential whisper
- 1819, Jedadiah Cleishbotham [pseudonym; Walter Scott], Tales of My Landlord, Third Series. […], volumes (please specify |volume=I to IV), Edinburgh: […] [James Ballantyne and Co.] for Archibald Constable and Co.; London: Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, and Brown, […]; Hurst, Robinson, and Co. […], →OCLC, page 168:
- Now, they want me to send up a confidential person with some writings.
meant to be kept secret within a certain circle