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sub rosa

[suhb roh-zuh] /sʌb ˈroʊ zə/
noun
1.
confidentially; secretly; privately.
Origin
1920-1925
1920-25; < Latin sub rosā literally, under the rose, from the ancient use of the rose at meetings as a symbol of the sworn confidence of the participants
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for sub rosa

sub rosa

/ˈrəʊzə/
adverb
1.
in secret
Word Origin
Latin, literally: under the rose; from the rose that, in ancient times, was hung over the council table, as a token of secrecy
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 sub rosa

"privately, secretly," Latin, literally "under the rose," which was regarded as a symbol of secrecy.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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