secret

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle English secrette, borrowed from Old French secret, from Latin sēcrētus (separated, hidden), from ptp of sēcernō (separate, to set aside, sunder out), from Latin cernō[1], from Proto-Indo-European *krey- [2] [3].

Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): /ˈsiːkɹɪt/
  • (weak vowel merger) IPA(key): /ˈsiːkɹət/
  • (obsolete) IPA(key): /ˈsiːkɹɛt/
  • (file)
  • Hyphenation: se‧cret

Noun[edit]

secret (countable and uncountable, plural secrets)

  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."
    • (Can we date this quote by Rambler and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      To tell our secrets is often folly; to communicate those of others is treachery.
    • 1822 May 29, [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.
    • 2013 June 14, Jonathan Freedland, “Obama's once hip brand is now tainted”, in The Guardian Weekly, volume 189, number 1, page 18:
      Now we are liberal with our innermost secrets, spraying them into the public ether with a generosity our forebears could not have imagined. Where we once sent love letters in a sealed envelope, or stuck photographs of our children in a family album, now such private material is despatched to servers and clouds operated by people we don't know and will never meet.
    • 2014, Thomas Feller, Trustworthy Reconfigurable Systems:
      The storage of cryptographic secrets is one of the paramount requirements in building trustworthy systems.
  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[edit]

Derived terms[edit]

Descendants[edit]

  • Pitcairn-Norfolk: siikret
  • Cebuano: sekret

Translations[edit]

Adjective[edit]

secret (comparative more secret, superlative most 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.
  3. (obsolete) Faithful to a secret; not inclined to divulge or betray confidence; secretive, separate, apart.
  4. (obsolete) Separate; distinct.
    • (Can we date this quote by Cudworth and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      They suppose two other divine hypostases superior thereunto, which were perfectly secret from matter.

Alternative forms[edit]

Synonyms[edit]

Antonyms[edit]

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Translations[edit]

Verb[edit]

secret (third-person singular simple present secrets, present participle (UK) secretting or (US) secreting, simple past and past participle (UK) secretted or (US) secreted)

  1. (transitive) To make or keep secret. [from late 16th c.]
    • 1984, Peter Scott Lawrence, 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, 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, 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.

Usage notes[edit]

  • All other dictionaries label this sense 'obsolete', but the citations above and on the citations page demonstrate recent usage as part of the idiom "secret [something] away".
  • The present participle and past forms secreting and secreted are liable to confusion with the corresponding heteronymous forms of the similar verb secrete.

Quotations[edit]

Derived terms[edit]

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Anagrams[edit]


Catalan[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Latin secretus.

Pronunciation[edit]

Adjective[edit]

secret (feminine secreta, masculine plural secrets, feminine plural secretes)

  1. secret

Noun[edit]

secret m (plural secrets)

  1. secret

Derived terms[edit]


French[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): /sə.kʁɛ/, (dated) /sə.ɡʁɛ/
  • (file)

Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle French secret, from Old French secret, borrowed from Latin secrētus.

Adjective[edit]

secret (feminine singular secrète, masculine plural secrets, feminine plural secrètes)

  1. secret

Etymology 2[edit]

From Old French secret, borrowed from Latin secrētum.

Noun[edit]

secret m (plural secrets)

  1. secret
Descendants[edit]

Anagrams[edit]

Further reading[edit]


Middle French[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Old French secret.

Adjective[edit]

secret m (feminine singular secrete, masculine plural secrets, feminine plural secretes)

  1. secret

Descendants[edit]


Romanian[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Borrowed from French secret, Latin secretum, secretus. Doublet of săcret, which was inherited.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

secret n (plural secrete)

  1. secret

Declension[edit]

Synonyms[edit]

Adjective[edit]

secret m or n (feminine singular secretă, masculine plural secreți, feminine and neuter plural secrete)

  1. secret, hidden

Declension[edit]

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