Private vs. Secret

Private vs. Secret — Is There a Difference?

Difference Between Private and Secret

Privateadjective

Secluded from the sight, presence, or intrusion of others

a private hideaway.

Secretadjective

Kept hidden from knowledge or view; concealed

a secret identity.a secret passageway.

Privateadjective

Designed or intended for one's exclusive use

a private room.

Secretadjective

Not expressed; inward

secret desires.

Privateadjective

Of or confined to the individual; personal

a private joke.private opinions.

Secretadjective

Given to keeping one's thoughts and activities unknown to others; secretive

"Scrooge ... was secret, and self-contained, and solitary as an oyster" (Charles Dickens).

Privateadjective

Undertaken on an individual basis

private studies.private research.

Secretadjective

Not revealing a secret or not given to revealing secrets

"She boasted ... that he did tell her. But he didn't. He was secret as the grave" (Ruth Prawer Jhabvala).

Privateadjective

Of, relating to, or receiving special hospital services and privileges

a private patient.

Secretadjective

Operating in a hidden or confidential manner

a secret commission.a secret agent.

Privateadjective

Not available for public use, control, or participation

a private club.a private party.

Secretadjective

Containing information, the unauthorized disclosure of which poses a grave threat to national security.

Privateadjective

Belonging to a particular person or persons, as opposed to the public or the government

private property.

Secretadjective

Not much visited; secluded

a secret hiding place.

Privateadjective

Of, relating to, or derived from nongovernment sources

private funding.

Secretadjective

Known or shared only by the initiated

secret rites.

Privateadjective

Conducted and supported primarily by individuals or groups not affiliated with governmental agencies or corporations

a private college.a private sanatorium.

Secretadjective

Beyond ordinary understanding; mysterious

"like Pan, calling out with his flute to come join in on the secret chaos of the world" (Rick Bass).

Privateadjective

Enrolled in or attending a private school

a private student.

Secretnoun

Something that is kept out of the knowledge or sight of others or is known only to oneself or a few

wanted to have no secrets between them.

Privateadjective

Capitalized in shares of stock that are held by a relatively small number of owners and are not traded on the open market

a private company.a company that went private.took a company private.

Secretnoun

Something that remains beyond understanding or explanation; a mystery

unlocking the secrets of the atom.

Privateadjective

Not holding an official or public position

a private citizen.

Secretnoun

A method or formula for doing or making something well, especially when not widely known

The secret of this dish is in the sauce.

Privateadjective

Not for public knowledge or disclosure; secret

private papers.a private communication.

Secretnoun

Secret A variable prayer said after the Offertory and before the Preface in the Mass.

Privateadjective

Not appropriate for use or display in public; intimate

private behavior.a private tragedy.

Secretnoun

Knowledge that is hidden and intended to be kept hidden.

Can you keep a secret? So can I.

Privateadjective

Placing a high value on personal privacy

a private person.

Secretnoun

Something not understood or known.

Privatenoun

A noncommissioned rank in the US Army or Marine Corps that is below private first class.

Secretnoun

The genital organs.

Privatenoun

One who holds this rank or a similar rank in another military organization.

Secretadjective

Being or kept hidden.

We went down a secret passage.

Privatenoun

privates Private parts. Often used with the.

Secretadjective

(obsolete) Withdrawn from general intercourse or notice; in retirement or secrecy; secluded.

Privateadjective

Belonging to, concerning, or accessible only to an individual person or a specific group.

Her address is private; you can't have it.private papers

Secretadjective

(obsolete) Faithful to a secret; not inclined to divulge or betray confidence; secretive, separate, apart.

Privateadjective

Not accessible by the public.

private property

Secretadjective

(obsolete) Separate; distinct.

Privateadjective

Not in governmental office or employment.

He quit public life, living quietly as a private citizen.

Secretverb

(transitive) To make or keep secret.

Privateadjective

Not publicly known; not open; secret.

The identity of the beneficiaries of the trust is private.

Secretverb

(transitive) To hide secretly.

He was so scared for his safety he secreted arms around the house.

Privateadjective

Protected from view or disturbance by others; secluded.

Can we go somewhere more private?

Secretnoun

something that should remain hidden from others (especially information that is not to be passed on);

the combination to the safe was a secrethe tried to keep his drinking a secret

Privateadjective

Not traded by the public.

private corporation

Secretnoun

information known only to a special group;

the secret of Cajun cooking

Privateadjective

Secretive; reserved.

He is a very private person.

Secretnoun

something that baffles understanding and cannot be explained;

how it got out is a mysteryit remains one of nature's secrets

Privateadjective

Not shared with another patient.

Secretadjective

not open or public; kept private or not revealed;

a secret formulasecret ingredientssecret talks

Privatenoun

A soldier of the lowest rank in the army.

Secretadjective

conducted with or marked by hidden aims or methods;

clandestine intelligence operationscloak-and-dagger activities behind enemy lineshole-and-corner intriguesecret missionsa secret agentsecret sales of armssurreptitious mobilization of troopsan undercover investigationunderground resistance

Privatenoun

The genitals.

Secretadjective

not openly made known;

a secret marriagea secret bride

Privatenoun

(obsolete) A secret message; a personal unofficial communication.

Secretadjective

communicated covertly;

their a secret signal was a winksecret messages

Privatenoun

(obsolete) Personal interest; particular business.

Secretadjective

not expressed;

secret (or private) thoughts

Privatenoun

(obsolete) Privacy; retirement.

Secretadjective

designed to elude detection;

a hidden room or place of concealment such as a priest holea secret passagethe secret compartment in the desk

Privatenoun

(obsolete) One not invested with a public office.

Secretadjective

hidden from general view or use;

a privy place to rest and thinka secluded romantic spota secret garden

Privatenoun

A private lesson.

If you want to learn ballet, consider taking privates.

Secretadjective

(of information) given in confidence or in secret;

closet informationthis arrangement must be kept confidentialtheir secret communications

Privatenoun

an enlisted man of the lowest rank;

our prisoner was just a private and knew nothing of value

Secretadjective

indulging only covertly;

a closet alcoholiccloset liberals

Privateadjective

confined to particular persons or groups or providing privacy;

a private placeprivate discussionsprivate lessonsa private cluba private secretaryprivate propertythe former President is now a private citizenpublic figures struggle to maintain a private life

Secretadjective

having an import not apparent to the senses nor obvious to the intelligence; beyond ordinary understanding;

mysterious symbolsthe mystical style of Blakeoccult lorethe secret learning of the ancients

Privateadjective

concerning things deeply private and personal;

private correspondenceprivate family matters

Secretadjective

the next to highest level of official classification for documents

Privateadjective

concerning one person exclusively;

we all have individual carseach room has a private bath

Privateadjective

not expressed;

secret (or private) thoughts