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.

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

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/