- Kept hidden from knowledge or view; concealed.
- Dependably discreet.
- Operating in a hidden or confidential manner: a secret agent.
- Not expressed; inward: their secret thoughts.
- Not frequented; secluded: wandered about the secret byways of Paris.
- Known or shared only by the initiated: secret rites.
- Beyond ordinary understanding; mysterious.
- Containing information, the unauthorized disclosure of which poses a grave threat to national security.
- Something kept hidden from others or known only to oneself or to a few.
- Something that remains beyond understanding or explanation; a mystery.
- A method or formula on which success is based: The secret of this dish is in the sauce.
- Secret A variable prayer said after the Offertory and before the Preface in the Mass.
[Middle English, from Old French, from Latin sÄ“crÄ“tus, from past participle of sÄ“cernere, to set aside : sÄ“-, apart + cernere, to separate.]secretly se'cretÂ·ly adv.
SYNONYMS secret, stealthy, covert, clandestine, furtive, surreptitious, underhand. These adjectives mean deliberately hidden from view or knowledge. Secret is the most general: a desk with a secret compartment; secret negotiations. Stealthy suggests quiet, cautious deceptiveness intended to escape notice: heard stealthy footsteps on the stairs. Covert describes something that is concealed or disguised: protested covert actions undertaken by the CIA. Clandestine implies stealth and secrecy for the concealment of an often illegal or improper purpose: clandestine intelligence operations. Furtive suggests the slyness, shiftiness, and evasiveness of a thief: a menacing and furtive look to his eye. Something surreptitious is stealthy, furtive, and often unseemly or unethical: the surreptitious mobilization of troops preparing for a sneak attack. Underhand implies unfairness, deceit, or slyness as well as secrecy: achieved success by underhand methods.