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secretary of state

the head and chief administrator of the U.S. Department of State.
British. any of several ministers in the British government:
A new secretary of state for the Home Department has been appointed.
(in the U.S.) the appointed or elected official in a state government whose chief function is to distribute statutes, administer elections, keep archives, etc.
Origin of secretary of state
1610-20 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for secretary of state
  • It was a signal moment in conservation history, and this time even the secretary of state wasn't wearing a jacket.
  • Viewed from the worldly perspective of a former secretary of state, the stakes in higher education may well appear small.
  • No one could remember a secretary of state, the highest post in the cabinet, resigning on a matter of principle.
  • Now the same job is done by the secretary of state for defence.
  • The secretary of state shall be elected quadrennially, and shall hold his office for a term of four years.
British Dictionary definitions for secretary of state

secretary of state

(in Britain) the head of any of several government departments
(in the US) the head of the government department in charge of foreign affairs (State Department)
(in certain US states) an official with various duties, such as keeping records
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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secretary of state in Culture

secretary of state definition

The head of the United States Department of State and, as leading member of the cabinet, fourth in line of succession to the presidency. The secretary of state is charged with formulating American foreign policy and conducting relations with other nations.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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