definition of secretaries by The Free Dictionary



n. pl. sec·re·tar·ies

1. A person employed to handle correspondence, keep files, and do clerical work for another person or an organization.

2. An officer who keeps records, takes minutes of the meetings, and answers correspondence, as for a company.

3. An official who presides over an administrative department of state.

4. A desk with a small bookcase on top.

[Middle English secretarie, from Medieval Latin sēcrētārius, confidential officer, clerk, from Latin sēcrētus, secret; see secret.]

sec′re·tar′i·al (-târ′ē-əl) adj.

American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(ˈsɛkrətrɪ; -ərɪ)

n, pl -taries

1. (Professions) a person who handles correspondence, keeps records, and does general clerical work for an individual, organization, etc

2. the official manager of the day-to-day business of a society or board

3. (Government, Politics & Diplomacy) (in Britain) a senior civil servant who assists a government minister

4. (Government, Politics & Diplomacy) (in the US and New Zealand) the head of a government administrative department

6. (Government, Politics & Diplomacy) (in Australia) the head of a public service department

7. (Government, Politics & Diplomacy) diplomacy the assistant to an ambassador or diplomatic minister of certain countries

[C14: from Medieval Latin sēcrētārius, from Latin sēcrētum something hidden; see secret]

secretarial adj

ˈsecretaryship n

Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˈsɛk rɪˌtɛr i)

n., pl. -tar•ies.

1. a person in charge of records, correspondence, and related affairs, as for a company.

2. a person employed to do routine work in a business office, as typing, filing, and answering phones.

3. a person employed to attend to the individual or confidential correspondence, scheduling, etc. of an executive, celebrity, or the like.

4. (often cap.) an officer of state charged with the superintendence and management of a particular department of government, as a member of the president’s cabinet in the U.S.: Secretary of the Treasury.

5. a diplomatic official who assists an ambassador or minister.

6. a piece of furniture for use as a writing desk, esp. one with drawers below and a cabinet or bookshelves above an often enclosed writing surface.

[1350–1400; Middle English secretarie one trusted with private or secret matters, confidant sēcrētārius= Latin sēcrēt(um) secret (n.) + -ārius -ary]

sec′re•tar`y•ship`, n.

Random House Kernerman Webster’s College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.

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