secret

secret adj Secret, covert, stealthy, furtive, clandestine, surreptitious, underhand, underhanded are comparable when they mean done, carried on, operated, or accomplished so as not to attract attention or observation.
Secret, the most general of these terms and the widest in its range of application, implies a hiding or concealing or a being hidden or concealed
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virtues are the hidden beauties of a soul, the secret graces which cannot be discovered by a mortal eyeSpectator

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she seized a lamp . . . and hurried towards the secret passage— Walpole

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for eighteen years a secret and an unaccused prisoner in the Bastille— Dickens

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a beautiful woman exquisitely finished . . . shrewd, mature, secret, betraying her real self to none— Sackvilie-West

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Covert applies to something that is done as it were under cover, and is not open or avowed
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he would find out the facts, the good and the bad, and set them down without any covert attack or special pleading— Maclnnes

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his covert alliance against the House of Austria— Belloc

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Stealthy usually suggests an intent to elude, to spy upon, or to gain one's ends without attracting attention; it is frequently a term either of derogation or of censure, connoting deliberateness and quietness in decoying, entrapping, or deceiving
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murder . . . with his stealthy pace . . . towards his design moves like a ghost— Shak.

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a series of gradual and stealthy encroachments on the rights of the people— Freeman

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he came sidling up the driveway with a stealthy, soft-treading gait, making no noise at all— Dahl

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Furtive agrees with stealthy in suggesting an intent to escape observation but it carries clearer suggestions of cautiousness, watchfulness, or slyness, and is used to describe not only movements and acts but also faces, features, or expressions which reveal these or similar characteristics
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the man in black, after a furtive glance, did not look me in the face— Borrow

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small furtive eyes— George Eliot

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it would be possible for them, by breaking the law discreetly, to get all they want without discomfort; but . . . they . . . refuse to be the furtive evaders of a rule— Huxley

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the furtive sex fumbling that all boys her own age considered natural and in fact obligatory— Wouk

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Clandestine implies concealment (as in working out a plan) and usually an evil or illicit end; it commonly suggests stealthy or furtive methods or a fear that others may know what is occurring
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iclandestine meetings of the lovers

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a clandestine marriage

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the past when even the girls in the Library of Congress—even the archivists—could be booked for a clandestine weekend at Virginia Beach— Cheever

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Germany's clandestine rearmament under the auspices of the Reichswehr— Shirer

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Surreptitious applies not only to stealthy and furtive actions but also to emotions or desires and to concrete things which are concealed for fear of their discovery usually because they involve violation of a right, a law, a custom, or a standard (as of conduct or propriety)
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there he kept his surreptitious quids of tobacco, his pipe, and his small hoards— M. E. Freeman

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over the paling of the garden we might obtain an oblique and surreptitious view— Henry James

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cherish a surreptitious liking for romantic love stories

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the surreptitious removal of his stock by a merchant about to be forced into bankruptcy

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Underhand and underhanded consistently carry an implication of fraud, deceit, or unfairness, in addition to that of secrecy in dealings or surreptitiousness in methods
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he had suspected his agent of some underhand dealings— Austen

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it seemed deceitful and underhand to try such a thing— Pritchett

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he did not look quite like a professional gambler, but something smooth and twinkling in his countenance suggested an underhanded mode of life— Cather

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Analogous words: *mysterious, inscrutable, arcane: puzzling, perplexing, mystifying (see PUZZLE vb): hidden, concealed, secreted, screened (see HIDE)

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • secret — secret, ète 1. (se krè, krè t ; la prononciation ancienne était segret, segrète ; et plusieurs, surtout les vieillards, la conservent encore ; plusieurs, au XVIe siècle, écrivaient segret, voy. l historique à SECRET, 2 ; au XVIIe siècle,… …   Dictionnaire de la Langue Française d'Émile Littré

  • secret — SECRÉT, Ă, secreţi, te, adj., s.n. I. adj. 1. Care este ţinut ascuns, care rămâne necunoscut, nedivulgat; confidenţial. Tratative secrete. ♢ Asociaţie (sau organizaţie, societate) secretă = organizaţie cu caracter conspirativ, constituită în… …   Dicționar Român

  • secret — se‧cret [ˈsiːkrt] adjective 1. something that is secret is only known about by a few people and kept hidden from other people, sometimes because it is illegal: • The unexpected merger has triggered reports of a secret deal. • The judge has twice …   Financial and business terms

  • Secret — • The prayer said in a low voice by the celebrant at the end of the Offeratory in the Roman Liturgy Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Secret     Secret      …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • secret — [sē′krit] adj. [OFr < L secretus, pp. of secernere, to set apart < se , apart (see SECEDE) + cernere, to sift, distinguish: see HARVEST] 1. kept from public knowledge or from the knowledge of a certain person or persons 2. withdrawn, remote …   English World dictionary

  • Secret — Se cret, a. [F. secret (cf. Sp. & Pg. secreto, It. secreto, segreto), fr. L. secretus, p. p. of secernere to put apart, to separate. See {Certain}, and cf. {Secrete}, {Secern}.] 1. Hidden; concealed; as, secret treasure; secret plans; a secret… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Secret "X" — is a pricing game on the American television game show The Price Is Right . Debuting on September 14, 1977, this tic tac toe based game is played for a four digit prize worth more than $3,000, and uses small prizes.GameplayThe centerpiece of… …   Wikipedia

  • Secret — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda El término Secret puede referirse a: Término inglés para referirse a un secreto. En música Secret, álbum de la cantante japonesa Ayumi Hamasaki. secret, álbum de la cantante japonesa Kumi Koda. Secret , canción de la …   Wikipedia Español

  • Secret — Se cret, n. [F. secret (cf. Pr. secret, Sp. & Pg. secreto, It. secreto, segreto), from L. secretum. See {Secret}, a.] 1. Something studiously concealed; a thing kept from general knowledge; what is not revealed, or not to be revealed. [1913… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • secret — I adjective abstruse, acroamatic, acroamatical, arcane, arcanus, clandestine, close, concealed, confidential, covert, cryptic, dark, esoteric, furtive, hidden, latent, mysterious, not public, obscure, occult, occultus, private, privy, recondite,… …   Law dictionary

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