Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.


"Been and gone," was the secretary's answer, with the terseness characteristic of her.

The secretary's voice was mechanical, without any trace of feeling.

He paused, evidently expectant of laudatory corroboration from the secretary.

But the effort on the secretary's part was wholly without success.

When Smithson had left the office, Gilder turned to his secretary.

As they moved toward the Secretary's office, Porter was accosted by his trainer.

He told me he had never had a secretary so useful as I was, and that he wished I'd never met you!

The First Secretary observed this play of physiognomy steadily.

He called for his secretary, Mr. Campbell, to write the despatches.

I've had my secretary cut 'em out—and the Fenton stuff, too.


late 14c., "person entrusted with secrets," from Medieval Latin secretarius "clerk, notary, confidential officer, confidant," a title applied to various confidential officers, noun use of adjective meaning "private, secret, pertaining to private or secret matters" (cf. Latin secretarium "a council-chamber, conclave, consistory"), from Latin secretum "a secret, a hidden thing" (see secret (n.)).

Meaning "person who keeps records, write letters, etc.," originally for a king, first recorded c.1400. As title of ministers presiding over executive departments of state, it is from 1590s. The word also is used in both French and English to mean "a private desk," sometimes in French form secretaire. The South African secretary bird so called (1786) in reference to its crest, which, when smooth, resembles a pen stuck over the ear. Cf. Late Latin silentiarius "privy councilor, 'silentiary," from Latin silentium "a being silent."



nounright-hand person
Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.