secretary of state

the head and chief administrator of the U.S. Department of State. Compare foreign minister.
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.
Also, Secretary of State.

1610–20 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
secretary of state
1.  (in Britain) the head of any of several government departments
2.  (in the US) the head of the government department in charge of foreign affairs (State Department)
3.  (in certain US states) an official with various duties, such as keeping records

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

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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Example sentences
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.
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