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The state of being secondary. – Norris.

SEC'OND-A-RY, a. [L. secundarius, from secundus.]

  1. Succeeding next in order to the first; subordinate. Where there is moral right on the one hand, no secondary right can discharge it. – L'Estrange.
  2. Not primary; not of the first intention. Two are the radical differences; the secondary differences are as four. – Bacon.
  3. Not of the first order or rate; revolving about a primary planet. Primary planets revolve about the sun; secondary planets revolve about the primary.
  4. Acting by deputation or delegated authority; as, the work of secondary hands. – Milton.
  5. Acting in subordination, or as second to another; as, a secondary officer. – Encyc. Secondary rocks, in geology, are those which were formed after the primary. They are always situated over or above the primitive and transition rocks; they abound with organic remains or petrifactions, and are supposed to be mechanical deposits from water. Cleaveland. A secondary fever, is that which arises after a crisis, or a critical effort, as after the declension of the small pox or measles. Secondary circles, or secondaries, in astronomy, circles passing through the poles of any of the great circles of the sphere, perpendicular to the planes of those circles. Secondary qualities, are the qualities of bodies which are not inseparable from them, but which proceed from casual circumstances, such as color, taste, odor, &c. Secondary formations, in geology, formations of substances, subsequent to the primitive.


  1. A delegate or deputy; one who acts in subordination to another; as, the secondaries of the court of king's bench and of common pleas. – Encyc.
  2. A feather growing on the second bone of a fowl's wing.


Supported; aided.


One that supports what another attempts, or what he affirms, or what he moves or proposes; as, the seconder of an enterprise or of a motion.


  1. Not original or primary; received from another. They have but a second-hand or implicit knowledge. Locke.
  2. Not new; that has been used by another; as, a secondhand book.


Possession received from the first possessor. – Johnson.


Supporting; aiding.

SEC'OND-LY, adv.

In the second place. – Bacon.


In music, the second part.


Of the second size, rank, quality or value; as, a second-rate ship; a second-rate cloth; a second-rate champion. – Dryden.

SEC'OND-RATE, n. [second and rate.]

The second order in size, dignity or value. They call it thunder of the second-rate. – Addison. So we say, a ship of the second-rate.


The power of seeing, things future or distant; a power claimed by some of the highlanders in Scotland. – Addison. Nor less avail'd his optic sleight, / And Scottish gift of second-sight. – Trumbull's M'Fingal.


Having the power of second-sight. – Addison.

SE'CRE-CY, n. [from secret.]

  1. Properly, a state of separation; hence, concealment from the observation of others, or from the notice of any persons not concerned; privacy; a state of being hid from view. When used of an individual, secrecy implies concealment from all others; when used of two or more, it implies concealment from all persons except those concerned. Thus a company of counterfeiters carry on their villainy in secrecy. The lady Anne, / Whom the king hath in secrecy long married. – Shak.
  2. Solitude; retirement; seclusion from the view of others. Milton.
  3. Forbearance of disclosure or discovery. It is not with public as with private prayer; in this, rather secrecy is commanded than outward show. – Hooker.
  4. Fidelity to a secret; the act or habit of keeping secrets. For secrecy no lady closer. – Shak.

SE'CRET, a. [Fr. secret; It. Sp. and Port. secreto; L. secretus. This is given as the participle of secerno, but it is radically a different word; W. segyr, that is apart, inclosed or sacred; segru, to secrete or put apart; sêg, that is without access. The radical sense of sêg is to separate, as in L. seco, to cut off; and not improbably this word is contracted into the Latin se, a prefix in segrego, separo, &c.]

  1. Properly, separate; hence, hid; concealed from the notice or knowledge of all persons except the individual or individuals concerned. I have a secret errand to thee, O king. – Judges iii.
  2. Unseen; private; secluded; being in retirement. There secret in her sapphire cell, / He with the Nais wont to dwell. – Fenton.
  3. Removed from sight; private; unknown. Abide in a secret place, and hide thyself. – 1 Sam. xix.
  4. Keeping secrets; faithful to secrets intrusted; as, secret Romans. [Unusual.] – Shak.
  5. Private; affording privacy. – Milton.
  6. Occult; not seen; not apparent; as, the secret operations of physical causes.
  7. Known to God only. Secret things belong to the Lord our God. – Deut. xxix.
  8. Not proper to be seen; kept or such as ought to be kept from observation.

SE'CRET, n. [Fr. from L. secretum.]

  1. Something studiously concealed. A man who can not keep his own secrets, will hardly keep the secrets of others. To tell our own secrets is often folly; to communicate those of others is treachery. – Rambler. A talebearer revealeth secrets. – Prov. xi.
  2. A thing not discovered and therefore unknown. All secrets of the deep, at nature's works. – Milton. Hast thou heard the secret of God? – Job xv.
  3. Secrets, plur., the parts which modesty and propriety require to be concealed. In secret, in a private place; in privacy or secrecy; in a state or place not seen; privately. Bread eaten in secret is pleasant. – Prov. ix.

SE'CRET, v.t.

To keep private. [Not used.] – Bacon.


Pertaining to a secretary. – Brit. Spy.


The office of a secretary. – Swift.

SEC'RE-TA-RY, n. [Fr. secrétaire; Sp. and It. secretario; from L. secretus, secret; originally a confident, one intrusted with secrets.]

  1. A person employed by a public body, by a company or by an individual, to write orders, letters, dispatchest public or private papers, records and the like. Thus legislative bodies have secretaries, whose business is to record all their laws and resolves. Embassadors have secretaries.
  2. An officer whose business is to superintend and manage the affairs of a particular department of government; as, the secretary of state, who conducts the correspondence of a state with foreign courts; the secretary of the treasury, who manages the department of finance; the secretary of war, of the navy, &c.

SE-CRETE, v.t.

  1. To hide; to conceal; to remove from observation or the knowledge of others; as, to secrete stolen goods.
  2. To secrete one's self; to retire from notice into a private place; to abscond.
  3. In the animal economy, to secern; to produce from the blood substances different from the blood itself, or from any of its constituents; as the glands. The liver secretes bile; the salivary glands secrete saliva. – Ed. Encyc.


Concealed; secerned.


Hiding; secerning.


  1. The act of secerning; the act of producing from the blood substances different from the blood itself, or from any of its constituents, as bile, saliva, mucus, urine, &c. This was considered by the older physiologists as merely a separation from the blood of certain substances previously contained in it; the literal meaning of secretion. But this opinion is now generally exploded. The organs of secretion are of very various form and structure, but the most general are those called glands. – Ed. Encyc.
  2. The matter secreted, as mucus, perspirable matter, &c.