Definition of “secret” - English Dictionary

“secret” in British English

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secretnoun

uk /ˈsiː.krət/ us /ˈsiː.krət/

B1 [ C ] a piece of information that is only known by one person or a few people and should not be told to others:

Why did you have to go and tell Bob about my illness? You just can't keep a secret, can you?
A close couple should have no secrets from each other.
Aren't you going to let me in on (= tell me) the secret?
There's no secret (= everyone knows) about his homosexuality.
She makes no secret of (= makes very clear) her dislike of her father.
That restaurant is one of the best-kept secrets in Rome.

[ C ] a fact about a subject that is not known:

the secrets of the universe

B2 [ S ] the particular knowledge and skills needed to do something very well:

So what's the secret of being a good cook?

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secretadjective

uk /ˈsiː.krət/ us /ˈsiː.krət/

B1 If something is secret, other people are not allowed to know about it:

We ought to keep these proposals secret from the chairman for the time being.
This is top (= extremely) secret information.
Do you think we'll manage to keep the surprise party secret from Mum until her birthday?

[ before noun ] used to refer to someone who has a particular habit, hobby, or feeling but does not tell or show other people that they do:

a secret drinker
a secret admirer

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secretly
adverb uk /ˈsiː.krət.li/ us /ˈsiː.krət.li/

B1

She said she didn't care about it, but I believe she was secretly delighted.
He was convicted on the evidence of secretly recorded phone conversations.

(Definition of “secret” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

“secret” in American English

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secretnoun [ C ]

us /ˈsi·krɪt/

a piece of information that is not generally known or is not known by someone else and should not be told to others:

We don’t keep secrets from each other.
Don’t tell anyone – it’s a secret.
What’s the secret of your success (= How was it achieved)?

secretadjective

us /ˈsi·krət/

known, done, or kept without others knowing:

The peace process began with secret talks in Norway.
secrecy
noun [ U ] us /ˈsi·krə·si/

What’s the reason for all this secrecy?
secretly
adverb us /ˈsi·krɪt·li/

They secretly took photographs of Jack.

(Definition of “secret” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

“secret” in Business English

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secretadjective

uk /ˈsiːkrət/ us

if something is secret, only particular people are allowed to know about it:

Staff were informed to keep the company's plans secret.

See also

secretnoun [ C ]

uk /ˈsiːkrət/ us

an important piece of information that only a few people know and that should not be told to anyone else:

The ingredients of the drink are a closely-guarded secret.
a national/military/state secret

See also

(Definition of “secret” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)