English edit

Noun edit

secret society (plural secret societies)

  1. A club, fraternal organization, or other association which admits only selected individuals as members, whose meetings and practices are often ritualistic and not public, and which often has the purpose of furthering the social or economic opportunities of its members.
    • 1879, Louisa May Alcott, chapter 22, in Under the Lilacs:
      Ben had much fun out of it, assuring the other boys that those were the signs and password of a secret society to which he and Sam belonged.
    • 1903, Joseph Conrad, chapter 6, in Romance:
      But these Brothers of Pity were a secret society, known to no man except their spiritual head, who chose them in turn, and not knowing even each other.
    • 1937 May 3, “Germany: Hitler v. Everybody”, in Time:
      Originally a secret society, B'nai B'rith came into the open in 1920 with publication of its ritual.
    • 2007 January 14, “Spycraft as Thespianage”, in Newsweek, retrieved 14 June 2011:
      In the opening scenes of "The Good Shepherd," the hero (played by Matt Damon) is initiated into Skull and Bones, Yale's iconic secret society, by lowering himself naked into a coffin to confess his deepest secrets.

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