American English

Definition of secret noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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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. 2the 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. Idioms
    a guilty secret
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    a secret that someone feels ashamed about
    without other people knowing about it The meeting was held in secret. She admired him, in secret of course.
    an open secret
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    if something is an open secret, many people know about it, although it is supposed to be a secret
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: secret