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Alternative forms[edit]


From Medieval Latin secrētārius (one entrusted with secrets), from Latin secrētus (private, secret), past participle of secernere (to separate, set apart), from se- (apart) + cernere (to separate).


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈsɛk.ɹəˌtə.ɹi/, /ˈsɛk.ɹə.tɹi/
  • (General American) enPR: sĕk'rətĕrē, IPA(key): /ˈsɛkɹəˌtɛɹi/, [ˈsɛkɹəˌtʰɛɹi]
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secretary (plural secretaries)

  1. (obsolete) Someone entrusted with a secret; a confidant.
  2. A person who keeps records, takes notes and handles general clerical work.
    I have a personal secretary to help me organize my clients.
    The secretary at the school is in charge of communication between parents, students, and staff.
  3. (often capitalized) The head of a department of government.
  4. A managerial or leading position in certain non-profit organizations, such as political parties, trade unions, international organizations.
    Ban Ki-Moon was a secretary general of the United Nations.
  5. (US) A type of desk, secretary desk; a secretaire.
  6. A secretary bird, a bird of the species Sagittarius serpentarius.

Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.


secretary (third-person singular simple present secretaries, present participle secretarying, simple past and past participle secretaried)

  1. (transitive) To serve as a secretary of.


Further reading[edit]