n. (pl. -ies) 1 a person employed by an individual or in an office etc. to assist with correspondence, keep records, make appointments, etc. 2 an official appointed by a society etc. to conduct its correspondence, keep its records, etc. 3 (in the UK) the principal assistant of a government minister, ambassador, etc. secretary bird a long-legged snake-eating African bird, Sagittarius serpentarius, with a crest likened to a quill pen stuck over a writer's ear. Secretary-General the principal administrator of an organization. Secretary of State 1 (in the UK) the head of a major government department. 2 (in the US) the chief government official responsible for foreign affairs. secretarial adj. secretaryship n.
[ ME f. LL secretarius (as SECRET) ]