Definition of secretary in US English:

secretary

noun

  • 1A person employed by an individual or in an office to assist with correspondence, keep records, make appointments, and carry out similar tasks.

    • ‘Since it was written in shorthand, he had to ask his secretary to interpret it.’
    • ‘Despite being in his office, the editor, Martin Newland, requested his secretary to say he was ‘unavailable for comment’.’
    • ‘Englehardt explained that in fact plenty of people had seen it, and he sent his secretary to fetch some.’
    • ‘She waited for the secretary to pick up and transfer her to Sarah's office, where she was on her break.’
    • ‘She was then working as a secretary to Tambimuttu in that chaotic Poetry London office in Manchester Square.’
    • ‘He is even considerate enough to take time from his day to answer fan mail personally rather than getting a secretary to do it for him.’
    • ‘She is reportedly the lowest paid secretary in the department.’
    • ‘Already a bunch of freshmen had lined up at the secretary's desk.’
    • ‘She started in a law firm as the boss's secretary typing his letters and papers.’
    • ‘I entered the office, dumping the counseling folder on the secretary's desk.’
    • ‘Additional staff is needed to run rural branch surgeries, which restricts partners' ability to employ secretaries and administrators.’
    • ‘With that, he turned and walked out of his office, calling for his secretary to get her anything she needed, a drink or anything.’
    • ‘There is a story doing the rounds about a city lawyer who asked an office secretary to pay £4 towards his dry cleaning bill.’
    • ‘One guy a few years back asked me whether he should call back and make an appointment with my secretary to talk to me.’
    • ‘If necessary, counsel may contact my secretary to arrange an appointment to speak to the issue of costs on this motion.’
    • ‘After leaving the firm, I found out that people from my secretary to my CEO knew I was gay.’
    • ‘He pushed the door open and walked up to the secretary's desk.’
    • ‘A former England player who roomed with him now has to call Hoddle's secretary to get an appointment to speak to him.’
    • ‘There is no office secretary to answer calls or take messages, no student assistants to run errands.’
    • ‘It didn't matter that Kyle had a newborn baby, or that Ryan drank too much, or that Tom was carrying on a secret affair with a secretary in the office.’
    1. 1.1 An official of a society or other organization who conducts its correspondence and keeps its records.
      • ‘It was provided to the Foreign Office by the secretary to the World Jewish Council, who in turn had received it from a source in Berlin.’
      • ‘The tuning of the City Hall organ is ongoing, and every night, the secretary of the Organ Society, David Smit, spends several hours tuning the instrument.’
      • ‘This is borne out by a letter of April 11, from the solicitors to the area secretary of the Law society.’
      • ‘Well, he is the appointments secretary and administrator for all referees outside of the Football League.’
      • ‘He was heavily involved in coaching and administration and was secretary to the national cycling association.’
    2. 1.2 An official in charge of a government department.
      as title ‘Secretary of the Treasury’
      • ‘As secretary of commerce, Hoover himself drafted much of the legislation.’
      • ‘Perle is a commentator on defense issues and a former US assistant secretary of defense.’
      • ‘The Secretary of the Navy, Gordon England, has dismissed these allegations.’
      • ‘Taft, a former deputy defence secretary under President Ronald Reagan, was the man to do that.’
      • ‘Wolfowitz is US deputy defence secretary and widely regarded as the chief intellectual architect of the Iraq war.’
      • ‘He was provincial general secretary of Leon for 11 years.’
      • ‘But in the meantime the education secretary announced £200m extra for university research.’
      • ‘In 1992 former secretary to the office of Governor-General, Sir David Smith, wrote.’
      • ‘In London, shadow foreign secretary Michael Ancram said Buttiglione's withdrawal raised some disturbing issues.’
      • ‘The secretary of agriculture already has gathered input on issues for the next bill.’
      • ‘Reminded that was not what the shadow health secretary had said, Boris preferred to keep digging.’
      • ‘Returning from Europe in 1783, Jay served Congress as secretary for foreign affairs for the next six years.’
      • ‘And Dr. Sue Bailey is a former assistant defense secretary for health affairs.’
      • ‘I also tried to contact the Permanent Secretary in Bisho without success.’
      • ‘One priest was accredited as First Secretary at the Italian Embassy.’
      • ‘In 1996, he became the sixth deputy assistant secretary of defense for Policy and Missions.’
      • ‘She immediately contacted the British secretary of war and volunteered her time and skills.’
      • ‘We need the president to go there and also tell the treasury secretary to certify that it's happening.’
      • ‘Yet the new treasury secretary nominee turned out not to be much of an improvement.’
      • ‘But there's a new Army secretary in charge.’
      • ‘The 1986 legislation also specified the responsibilities of each service secretary to the defense secretary.’
      • ‘Fillmore instructed his attorney general and the secretary of the Navy to arrest the king.’
      • ‘The British Home Secretary announced today that marijuana will be rescheduled as a Class C drug.’
      • ‘The education secretary at the time, Kenneth Baker, was more moderate.’
      • ‘The Secretary of Commerce must consult with the Department of Justice before issuing such a certificate.’
      • ‘Michael Ancram, shadow foreign secretary, played down talk of a rift.’
    3. 1.3 A writing desk with shelves on top of it.
      • ‘The three small drawers in the desk section of this secretary are separated from the drawers below them by a molding that runs across the front and sides of the case.’
      • ‘The base of this secretary bookcase, like many examples of late neoclassical case furniture, returns to the joined construction favored more than a century earlier.’

Origin

Late Middle English (originally in the sense ‘person entrusted with a secret’): from late Latin secretarius ‘confidential officer’, from Latin secretum ‘secret’, neuter of secretus (see secret).

Pronunciation

secretary

/ˈsɛkrəˌtɛri//ˈsekrəˌterē/