Definition of secret noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈsiːkrət//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈsiːkrət//
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  1. 1  [countable] something that is known about by only a few people and not told to others Can you keep a secret? The location of the ship is a closely guarded secret. Shall we let him in on (= tell him) the secret? He made no secret of his ambition (= he didn't try to hide it). She was dismissed for revealing trade secrets. official/State secrets dark secrets from his past
  2. 2  (also the secret) [singular] the best or only way to achieve something; the way a particular person achieves something Careful planning is the secret of success. She still looks so young. What's her secret?
  3. 3[countable, usually plural] a thing that is not yet fully understood or that is difficult to understand the secrets of the universe
  4. Word Originlate Middle English: from Old French, from Latin secretus (adjective) ‘separate, set apart’, from the verb secernere, from se- ‘apart’ + cernere ‘sift’.Extra examples Can you keep a secret? He refuses to make any secret of his political allegiances. How did the secret get out? I have no secrets from you. She let us into her secret - she was engaged. She revealed the secret behind her extraordinary success. That evening she had revealed many of her innermost secrets. The film stars were married in secret to avoid publicity. Their affair is an open secret. Their relationship remained a secret. There was some secret about the source of his wealth. These animals may hold the secret to combating the virus. Uncle Charlie hides a dark secret. a charming museum that is one of the city’s best-kept secrets the secrets of staying healthy He made no secret of his ambition. He spent much of his childhood here, learning the secrets of the woods. Shall we let him in on the secret? The location of the ship is a closely guarded secret. They hope to unlock the secrets of the universe. trade/​official/​State secretsIdioms if something is an open secret, many people know about it, although it is supposed to be a secret a secret that somebody feels ashamed about  without other people knowing about it The meeting was held in secret. She admired him, in secret of course.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: secret