Etymology
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secret (v.)
"to keep secret" (described in OED as "obsolete"), 1590s, from secret (n.). Related: Secreted; secreting.
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secretaire (n.)
cabinet for private papers, 1771, from French secrétaire (13c.), from Medieval Latin secretarius (see secretary). Englished form secretary is attested in this sense from 1803.
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secretarial (adj.)
1801, from stem of secretary (Medieval Latin secretarius) + -al (1).
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secretariat (n.)
"office of secretary," 1811, from French secrétariat, from Medieval Latin secretariatus, from secretarius (see secretary). Meaning "division of the Central Committeee of the USSR" is from 1926, from Russian sekretariat.
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secretary (n.)
late 14c., "person entrusted with secrets," from Medieval Latin secretarius "clerk, notary, confidential officer, confidant," a title applied to various confidential officers, noun use of adjective meaning "private, secret, pertaining to private or secret matters" (compare Latin secretarium "a council-chamber, conclave, consistory"), from Latin secretum "a secret, a hidden thing" (see secret (n.)).

Meaning "person who keeps records, write letters, etc.," originally for a king, first recorded c. 1400. As title of ministers presiding over executive departments of state, it is from 1590s. The word also is used in both French and English to mean "a private desk," sometimes in French form secretaire. The South African secretary bird so called (1786) in reference to its crest, which, when smooth, resembles a pen stuck over the ear. Compare Late Latin silentiarius "privy councilor, 'silentiary," from Latin silentium "a being silent."
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secrete (v.)
1707, back-formation from secretion. Related: Secreted; secretes; secreting.
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secretion (n.)
1640s, "act of secreting;" 1732, "that which is secreted," from French sécrétion, from Latin secretionem (nominative secretio) "a dividing, separation," noun of action from past participle stem of secernere "to separate, set apart" (see secret (n.)).
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secretive (adj.)
"inclined to secrecy," 1815 (implied in secretiveness); see secret (n.) + -ive. The word also was in Middle English with a sense "secret, hidden" (mid-15c.). Related: Secretively.
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secretly (adv.)
early 15c., from secret (adj.) (see secret (n.)) + -ly (2).
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