Definition of secretaire in English:



  • A small writing desk; an escritoire.

    • ‘For her, that primary piece is a faux-painted Swedish secretaire, where she keeps stationery, including her own handmade cards.’
    • ‘This project has provided an insight into the history and construction of the secretaire and the working practices of a top eighteenth-century craftsman.’
    • ‘The initial dismantling of the secretaire was extremely difficult and revealed much about its technical construction and Riesener's workshop practices.’
    • ‘One of the finest pieces of French royal furniture in the Wallace Collection is the secretaire made for Queen Marie-Antoinette in 1780.’
    • ‘The secretaire was still in the cabinet interieur at the beginning of the French Revolution, in 1789.’
    table, work surface, bureau, writing desk, writing table, roll-top desk, lectern
    View synonyms


Late 18th century: from French secrétaire, literally ‘secretary’.