Definition of secretariat in English:



  • 1A permanent administrative office or department, especially a governmental one.

    ‘the European Secretariat in Luxembourg’
    • ‘There are suggestions that regional health secretariats and youth centres might serve wider Commonwealth functions.’
    • ‘Santa's national secretariat is embroiled in several disputes with other Santa hospitals throughout the country.’
    • ‘The al-Sadr movement has a representative in the general secretariat.’
    • ‘Now the general secretariat can only take action on the initiative of the prime minister.’
    • ‘Plantlife International hosts the secretariat for Planta Europa, the network of organisations working for plant conservation across Europe.’
    • ‘The group's secretariat is usually provided by an outside body, either an NGO or a consultancy.’
    • ‘Mitterrand quickly favoured Jospin and by 1973 had already brought him into the national secretariat of the party.’
    • ‘They marched to the state government secretariat chanting slogans condemning the administration's attitude to the dispute.’
    • ‘But that process, however closely coordinated with U.N. secretariats, is still technically unilateral.’
    • ‘Uzbekistan joined in June 2001, when the body was restructured with a permanent secretariat headquartered in Beijing.’
    • ‘This applies in particular to their secretariats that are tightly controlled and steered by a handful of developed countries.’
    • ‘He is a member of the national secretariat, the five-member board of the party's leadership.’
    • ‘They are processes that legitimize political activity by international secretariats on behalf of their organizations.’
    • ‘In fact he formed a special committee in the cabinet secretariat to work out special tourist packages for the islands.’
    • ‘Significantly, neither the government information ministry nor the presidential secretariat has responded to criticisms of the raid.’
    • ‘The Council formed a permanent secretariat in Brussels to assist its work.’
    • ‘His successor at the peace secretariat is expected to be appointed after Sri Lanka's presidential election on Nov.17.’
    • ‘The spokesman said the bureau had made arrangements to provide secretariat and administrative support to the panel.’
    • ‘The parties in every country have their own special women's committees, secretariats and bureaus.’
    • ‘The bank, dominated by the US, not only houses its secretariat, but provides its current chair.’
    1. 1.1[treated as singular or plural]The staff working in a secretariat.
      • ‘Every two years, one member country hosts the council's secretariat, assuming the costs of its operation.’
      • ‘I also pay tribute to the select committee secretariat for their work.’
      • ‘This group would have its own budget, secretariat, council of ministers, and parliamentary assembly.’
      • ‘The Parliament is helped by a large secretariat of approximately 3,500 staff, headed by a Secretary-General.’
      • ‘The group's secretariat is usually provided by an outside body, either an NGO or a consultancy.’


Early 19th century: from French secrétariat, from medieval Latin secretariatus, from secretarius (see secretary).