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From Latin confidentia +‎ -al.


  • IPA(key): /ˌkɑːnfɪˈdɛnʃl/
  • (file)


confidential (comparative more confidential, superlative most confidential)

  1. 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.
    • 1872, George Eliot, Middlemarch[1], Edinburgh: William Blackwood, Book 6, Chapter 61, p. 355:
      [] I have a communication of a very private—indeed, I will say, of a sacredly confidential nature, which I desire to make to you.
    • 1960, Muriel Spark, chapter 10, in The Bachelors[2], Philadelphia: Lippincott, published 1961, page 163:
      It would tell against your reputation, losing a confidential document, wouldn’t it? Why didn’t you keep it confidential if it was confidential?
  2. (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.
  3. (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

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