Last modified on 9 August 2014, at 14:03

secret

EnglishEdit

EtymologyEdit

Middle English secrette, 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]. Or from Latin sēcūrus (untroubled, carefree), from cura. Compare Russian cкрытый, сокрытый ('hidden', 'covered', from Russian сокрыть ('to hide', 'to conceal'), which in turn derives from Russian крыть ('to cover')).

Displaced native Middle English diȝel "secret" (from Old English dīegol "secret"), Middle English derne, deorne "dark, hidden, secret" (from Old English dierne "dark, hidden, secret"), Middle English roune, rowne "secret, secret counsel" (from Old English rūn), Middle English hidel "secrecy, secret" (from Old English hȳdels "hiding-stow").

PronunciationEdit

  • IPA(key): /ˈsiːkɹɪt/
  • (file)
  • Hyphenation: se‧cret

NounEdit

secret (countable and uncountable, plural secrets)

  1. (countable, uncountable) Knowledge that is hidden and intended to be kept hidden. [from later 14th c.]
    • 2013 June 14, Jonathan Freedland, “Obama's once hip brand is now tainted”, 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.
    • Rambler
      To tell our secrets is often folly; to communicate those of others is treachery.
    Can you keep a secret? So can I.
  2. (uncountable) Something not understood or known.
    • Milton
      All secrets of the deep, all nature's works.
  3. (archaic, in the plural) The genital organs.

SynonymsEdit

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AdjectiveEdit

secret (comparative more secret, superlative most secret)

  1. Being or kept hidden. [from late 14th c.]
    We went down a secret passage.
    • Bible, Deuteronomy xxix. 29
      The secret things belong unto the Lord our God; but those things which are revealed belong unto us.
    • 1963, Margery Allingham, chapter 1, The China Governess[3]:
      The original family who had begun to build a palace to rival Nonesuch had died out before they had put up little more than the gateway, so that the actual structure which had come down to posterity retained the secret magic of a promise rather than the overpowering splendour of a great architectural achievement.
  2. (obsolete) Withdrawn from general intercourse or notice; in retirement or secrecy; secluded.
    • Fenton
      secret in her sapphire cell
  3. (obsolete) Faithful to a secret; not inclined to divulge or betray confidence; secretive.
    • Shakespeare
      Secret Romans, that have spoke the word, / And will not palter.
  4. (obsolete) Separate; distinct.
    • Cudworth
      They suppose two other divine hypostases superior thereunto, which were perfectly secret from matter.

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TranslationsEdit

VerbEdit

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.

Usage notesEdit

  • 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.

QuotationsEdit

Derived termsEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ George William Lemon. English etymology
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ [2]

StatisticsEdit

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FrenchEdit

PronunciationEdit

Etymology 1Edit

From Latin secrētus.

AdjectiveEdit

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

  1. secret

Etymology 2Edit

From Latin secrētum.

NounEdit

secret m (plural secrets)

  1. secret

AnagramsEdit

External linksEdit


Middle FrenchEdit

AdjectiveEdit

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

  1. secret

RomanianEdit

EtymologyEdit

Borrowed from French secret, Latin secretum/secretus.

NounEdit

secret n (plural secrete)

  1. secret

SynonymsEdit

AdjectiveEdit

secret

  1. secret, hidden

DeclensionEdit

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See alsoEdit