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[sek-ri-tair] /ˌsɛk rɪˈtɛər/
noun, French Furniture.
any writing desk resembling a secretary.
Origin of secretaire
1810-20; < French secrétaire secretary Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for secretaire
Historical Examples
  • Mrs. Soher began to dust a secretaire, talking all the while to her niece.

    The Silver Lining John Roussel
  • She sat down at the secretaire, and glanced over the page of figures.

  • secretaire, you see, and abstruse set of solid mahogany pigeon-holes, one for every letter of the alphabet.

    Our Mutual Friend Charles Dickens
  • And he tapped the veneered top of the secretaire with his forefinger.

    The Lion's Skin Rafael Sabatini
  • Then she pulled out a bunch of keys from her pocket, and tried them, one after the other, on the lock of the secretaire.

    A Charming Fellow, Volume III (of 3) Frances Eleanor Trollope
  • She had closed and locked the secretaire and she handed the man the key.

    The Green Rust Edgar Wallace
  • He replaced the papers which had been deranged, and he closed the secretaire.

    The Bravo J. Fenimore Cooper
  • I replied, "I know nothing about it, except that it was in your secretaire."

    Memoirs of Napoleon Bonaparte, Complete Louis Antoine Fauvelet de Bourrienne
  • It was apparent, therefore, that the secretaire had been set on fire from below.

    Historic Oddities Sabine Baring-Gould
  • Don Camillo Monforte was searching among the papers of a secretaire.

    The Bravo J. Fenimore Cooper
British Dictionary definitions for secretaire


an enclosed writing desk, usually having an upper cabinet section
Word Origin
C19: from French secrétaire; see secretary
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for secretaire

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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