9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[see-kri-tiv, si-kree-] /ˈsi krɪ tɪv, sɪˈkri-/
having or showing a disposition to secrecy; reticent:
He seems secretive about his new job.
Origin of secretive1
late Middle English
1425-75; late Middle English; back formation from secretiveness (itself modeled on French secrétivité). See secret, -ive
Related forms
secretively, adverb
secretiveness, noun
secret, close.


[si-kree-tiv] /sɪˈkri tɪv/
Origin Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for secretive
  • Clouded leopards are so secretive that their current range can only be guessed at and population estimates vary widely.
  • Some companies are admittedly more secretive than others.
  • Another problem stems from how secretive private investment firms can be about their business.
  • They have a somewhat unusual one-page website, which is quite secretive and defensive.
  • It is also not a hoax, there is nothing secretive or ill intentioned about it.
  • Miss west is secretive, especially about her past and family.
  • Funneled through secretive networks, these precious gems can carry a huge cost in human suffering.
  • The biggest reason for the sparse knowledge about jaguars is their secretive nature.
  • It was thanks to the keen eyes of underwater photographers and divers that these secretive specimens came to light.
  • Brown recluse spiders, as their name suggest, are shy and secretive creatures.
British Dictionary definitions for secretive


/ˈsiːkrɪtɪv; sɪˈkriːtɪv/
inclined to secrecy; reticent
another word for secretory
Derived Forms
secretively, adverb
secretiveness, noun
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 secretive

"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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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