[ adverb ] in secrecy; not openly


"met secretly to discuss the invasion plans" "the children secretly went to the movies when they were supposed to be at the library" "they arranged to meet in secret"

Used in print

(Mr. America, 4:6...)

Too often a beginning bodybuilder has to do his training secretly either because his parents do n't want sonny-boy to `` lift all those old barbell things '' because `` you 'll stunt your growth '' or because childish taunts from his schoolmates , like `` Hey , lookit Mr._America , whaddya gonna do with all those muscles ( of which he has none at the time ) '' ?

(Philip Jos‚ Farmer, The Lovers....)

Mary was free to marry again , not knowing that the Sturch had secretly given her a divorce , thinking that death had dissolved her marriage .

[ adverb ] not openly; inwardly


"they were secretly delighted at his embarrassment" "hoped secretly she would change her mind"

Related terms

secret secret