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A Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue (up to 1700)

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First published 2000 (DOST Vol. VIII).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Secret(e, Secré, adj., (adv.) and n.1 Also: secrett, sekrete, secreit(t, secreet(e, secreat, secrit(t, sacret, -eit, -ait, (serecrett), secrie. Pl. also secreit(t)ies. [ME and e.m.E. secre (Piers Plowman), secreet (Chaucer), secret (Gower), secrete (Trevisa), secrette (Langland), sekret (1481), OF secre, secret (both 12th c. in Larousse), L. sērēt- adj., orig. p.p. of sēcernere to separate, divide off.]Also occas. inflected in plur. concord.

A. adj. (adv.) 1. Kept from the knowledge or observation of others ; concealed, hidden. a. Predic. in to kepe (bere, hald, sustene) (something) secret.(a) a1500 Bk. Chess 511.
This moder than Chargit this child to kepe it secret all
1549 Compl. 111/15.
Be the keping of his counsel secret fra his frendis
(b) 1456 Hay II 154/21.
For it may fall that syk a man … may consave tresoun in his hert aganis thé and bere it secrete
c1490 Irland Asl. MS I 20/22.
The prest suld hold all secrete that he heris in confessioun
1492 Myll Spect. 292/20.
Relegious wemen as nunnis with quhom my doingis may be kepit maist secrete becaus of thare wyd cloikis … that hingis befor thare wame
1565 Facs. Nat. MSS III xx.
[They] sall kep all clos and secrete
(c) a1499 Contempl. Sinn. 1055.
Hir sorow secreit in hert [she] so couth sustene
c1500-c1512 Dunb. (OUP) 199/10. 1513 Doug. iii vi 68.
Quhilkis thou sal hald within thi mynd secreit
15.. Clar. i 228.
Ȝe mane it secreit keip
1582 Crim. Trials I ii 103.
George Hwme … keipit the samin secreit to him self
1630-1651 Gordon Geneal. Hist. 195. 1661 Laing MSS I 284.(d) 1559 Knox VI 86.
It is most assured that such a jewell … is latlie cumed to our realme, but it is keapt mervalus secreat
(e) 1545 Douglas Corr. 154.
With alle lefulle deligense, and that it may be secrit kepit
(f) 1490 Irland Mir. III 161/27.
It war bettir that thi self held it sacret
1514 Lennox Mun. 212.
We sall keip his counsale sacret geif ony he schawis ws
(g) 1460 Hay Alex. 485.
Thai him tauld, bot he it held secre [: be]

b. Of a place: Hidden, secluded, private, unfrequented. Also transf. 1460 Hay Alex. 2464.
(a) Till ane secreit chalmer [he] was gangand
a1500 Henr. Test. Cress. 120.
Into ane secreit orature
1494 Loutfut MS 26b.
The turtre is a foull [that] … sittis nocht on na gren thing and sekis gardingis secrett & merk placis
c1500-c1512 Dunb. (OUP) 40/1.
In secreit place this hindir nycht, I hard ane bern say till a bricht [etc.]
c1500-c1512 Dunb. (OUP) 151/50 (M).
And bakbytaris in secreit pleces [B. of sindry racis] To le that had delyte
1513 Doug. ii xi 93.
For throu the secrete stretis fast I ran Befor the laif
1531 Bell. Boece I 243.
Haly wemen … quhilkis leiffis devoitly in thair secret housis
1533 Bell. Livy I 217/16.
In secrete glennys to recounter the Fabis
1549 Compl. 7/4.
I began to reuolue the librarye of my vndirstanding, ande I socht all the secreit corneris of my gazophile
1549 Compl. 118/20.
They … hid them in ane secret place be hynd the curtingis of the tempil
1550 Elgin Rec. I 105.
Vitualis quhilk suld be patent in mercat and mercat places and not in secret housis
1559–60 Soc. Ant. XI 522.
We … hyd the said chenye … within the yard of our said duelling place vnder the seittis of the samin as ane place … mair sure and mair secreit
1596 Crim. Trials I ii 379.
Ane secreit place in the eird of the said Tolbuith
1596 Dalr. I 21/15.
Frome his inmest or maist secreit chamber
1596 Dalr. I 190/3.
Into sum secreit nuikis of Britannie and holes
1629 Justiciary Cases I 103.
As for the hame bringing of the said George … that chyre was the reddiest and that passage be the barne dur the nerrest and most secreit
(b) c1400 Troy-bk. ii 166.
In secre place … [they] Hem drewe
c1400 Troy-bk. ii 2437.
And has bot one small hole but dout In-to that thorne-ron, richt secre [L. incognitum] Quhare thare was wounder strate entre
c1550 Rolland Ct. Venus i 652.
In hir chalmer quhilk ay was most secre
transf. 1490 Irland Mir. I 153/15.
Becaus the hie God … chesit … this virgin … for his luf and sacret chaumer

c. Of a gate, passageway or staircase: Designed to escape observation, and provide private access to or escape from a place. a1500 Henr. Test. Cress. 388.
He opnit ane secreit ȝet and out thair at Conuoyit hir
1560 Rolland Seven S. 7405.
The … secreit way … Quhair the knicht come & quhair away scho past
1568 Buch. Indict. 44.
He wes placit in a hous joynit to the kiching; it haid indeid a secreit turnepyk to hir chalmer

d. Of persons: Private, unobserved; undisturbed. 1490 Irland Mir. I 99/34.
His gret chaumere of rest … quhare he likit best and was maist sacret, was this haly Lady
1560 Rolland Seven S. 1080.
I am richt blyith my sweit Dioclesiane, That we tua now ar sa secreit alane

e. Surreptitious; unseen. c1550 Lynd. Meldrum 1216.
That cruell knicht, full of inuy, Gart hald on them ane secreit spy

f. Of an action, transaction, communication, etc.: That is kept to oneself and not disclosed openly; private, hidden, clandestine.(a) 1452 Cal. Doc. IV 407.
Upon the secrete matiris the qwylks yhour lordeship knawys
1456 Hay I 63/30.
And ȝit with that, come a secrete letter till him
c1460 Thewis Wysmen 267.
Thair are euir in sacret vrisone Hyd prayere, styll dewocioune
1490 Irland Mir. I 128/2.
For His fyrst cummyne was occult & secret
1490 Irland Mir. III 163/1.
Na to thame suld na sacret counsal be reuelit, for na sacret is kepit with thame, as Salamon sais
a1500 Bk. Chess 493.
And so it was so secret was the thing That thai on sat
1528 Lynd. Dreme 283.
Sum wemen … did thame neuer schryue Off secreit synnis done in quietie
1533 Bell. Livy II 175/26.
Nane of the citezanis … suld persaue the secrete and irrecoverabil danger that was haistelie cummyn to the toun
1549 Douglas Corr. 172.
Ys there noo sekrete thing th'erle haitht byddin thé schew to me?
15.. Clar. ii 1863.
With secreit blenkis and inwart beholding
1568 Reg. Morton I 37.
Thair is ane wthir intelligence and ligne mair secreit, betuix the Erle of Murraye and the Erle of Harford
1558-66 Knox I 92.
He gat his secreat besynes shed of that gratiouse lady
a1578 Pitsc. I 19/15. c1590 Fowler II 22/19.
The whisperings wherof not being vnto me secreit, nather the takins obscure
(b) 1456 Hay II 78/26.
And thai geve oft tymis thair documentis in secre wordis be ensamplis synis and figuris covertly

g. Of a gibe: Conveyed by hint, veiled, covert. 1558-66 Knox II 170 marg.
This wes a secreit lardon

h. The Secret Committee (of Counsel), the Comittie of the Counsale for Secreit Affaires, the Privy Council of Scotland. = Secret Counsall n. 1684 Dumfr. & Galloway Soc. 3 Ser. XXXVI 139.
[The] Committie of the Counsale for Secreit Affaires [ordered] the Commissioners of the shyre to take the exactest tryle possible for discovering the resetters and conversars with thes rebells who appeared laitly at Crafoordmoor
1684 Lauder Observes 134.
To the six who remained of the juncto or secret committee of Counsell, … the king … added tuo more
1685 Acts VIII 483/1.
His Estates of Parliament … approve the discovery of the said plot by the extraordinary … industry of the lords of the secret committee

i. Of thoughts, feelings, intentions, emotions: Kept to oneself, unrevealed, unexpressedAlso absol., superl. 1456 Hay II 102/35.
God, that kennis the secrete thouchtis of mannis hert
1456 Hay II 147/20.
Ever halde in thy hert thy secrete thingis that thou thinkis to do, and schaw it never to nane of thame
c1460 Consail Vys Man 213.
Thi secret consail neuir wndo
a1499 Contempl. Sinn. 326.
Wertewe has a secret solace cleire
c1500-c1512 Dunb. (STS) lxxxiv 40.
Go follow thame, quha will inconstance leir; Secreit invy, [etc.]
1513 Doug. i viii 16.
To Latone hir moder this Gevis reiosyng and secrete hartis blys
a1568 Scott xxvi 21.
To bid men keip thair secreit counsailis Syne schaw the same agane till vthiris
1558-66 Knox I 157.
Heir, confessioun signifieth the secreat knowledge of our synnes befoir God
a1605 Montg. Misc. P. xxiv 57.
So long as I my secreit smart conceiled
a1605 Montg. Son. xxxix 3.
Sueet secreit sigh more peircing nor a dairt
c1610 Melville Mem. 40.
Causing him to … conceaue a secret hattrent against the other
1611-57 Mure Early Misc. P. iii 18.
A secreit surmize of disdaine
c1665 Sel. Biog. I 268.
Be much in secret wrestling. … publick professors and private professors [etc.] … prove but painted sepulchres for want of secreet wrestling
superl. 1598 James VI Basil. Doron 12/33.
Euer to walke as in the eyes of the Almightie, examining … the secretest of my driftes before I gaue them course

j. Of the heart, breast, etc., as the supposed seat of thoughts, etc.: Private, inward, inmost. 1554 Misc. Bann. C. III 84.
That this oure epistill … ma … amangis ȝour secret breistis furthset the souer rote of verite

k. That is beyond unaided human understanding; recondite, occult. a1499 Contempl. Sinn. 610.
The first [sc. judgement] occurris in to this lyf present Quhilk is profund secret & merwalus
1490 Irland Mir. I 63/28.
Alsua the woman knew nocht the sacret operacioune of the devin disposicioune
1490 Irland Mir. I 147/7.
Hire contemplacioune was hiest & excellit all vthire in … hevinly sacret materis
1490 Irland Mir. II 11/17.
The secret veriteis pertenand to our saluacioun
1494 Loutfut MS 50a.
God creat … the angellis to be messingeris to the devines sacretis thingis of his maieste
1513 Doug. vi I 140.
Thi secret sawis and thi propheceis … I sal gar kepe and obserue reuerendly
a1568 Norvall in Bann. MS I p. 12/27.
And to beleif thy secreit word The quhilk dois say ‘cum vnto me [etc.]’
1579, 1617 Despauter (1579) 165.
Secretiora scire laboro, ac investigo, to seirche secreit thingis
1596–7 Misc. Spald. C. I 98.
The revelatioun quhairof thow hed of thi master the Dewill, quhilk can be nawtherwayis interpretit … in respect God hes nocht gewin … to trew Christians sic secreitt and hid mistereis to knaw
1597 James VI Dæmonol. (STS) 42/1.
For that is onlie reserued to the secreete knowledge of God, whom he wil permit to see such thinges, and whome not
a1599 Rollock Wks. I 370.
O it is ane mystick and secreit thing
1650 Brechin Presb. 30.
Isobel Reany … denyes that shee sought any secrett thing from her

l. Hidden from sight, not obvious; not visible, out of sight, unseen.Secreit doublat, = Secret(e n.2 (Cf. also privé doublat, Privé adj.) 1456 Hay II 152/4.
The wis man sais that counsail is nocht ellis bot gude avis of provisioun and foresicht put in secrete repos and keping
1513 Doug. ii vi 5.
Suppos Anchys my faderis in With treys abowt stude secrete by the way
1513 Doug. iii x 79.
Ane of the ryveris … Vndir the sey gan thyddir flow … Throu secrete cundytis
1597 James VI Dæmonol. (STS) 23/18.
[The Devil] giues them his marke vpon some secreit place of their bodie
1622-6 Bisset I 50/3.
He [sc. the king] had ane nowmer of armed men in ane quiett chalmer … commanding thame, to be secreit, quhill thai war warned
1630 Canongate Hammermen in Bk. Old Edinb. C. XIX 20.
[John Lorymer … was set to make a French bit] haifing ane cheik of the conycabill [sic in MS] with ane peir secreit in the mouth
1634 Dalyell Darker Superst. 200.
Ye had ane horse schoe in ane darnet and secreit pairt of your dur
1663 Reg. Privy C. 3 Ser. I 451.
The circumscription [on the silver coins] … about the said effigies … to be as is exprest in the said poynsons, viz. Carolus II dei Gratia with a litle thistle or secreit mark
(2) 1577 Glasgow B. Rec. I 60.
Johne Herbertsoun … is decernit to delyuer to the said George ane secreit doublat lent be him to the said Johne incontinent

m. Secret member(s) (part(s)), the private member(s) or part(s). 1531 Bell. Boece II 109.
His limmis, feit, and secreit membris … wer dissolvit
1535 Stewart 2290.
Of euerilkman … secreit memberis cut the body fro
a1538 Abell 12a.
He saw [in a vision] ane wyne graif grow out of the secretis partis of his dochtir quhilk spred our Asia
a1538 Abell 116a.
Ane monstour at had … secret membris baith of man and wemen
1563 St. A. Kirk S. in Misc. Maitl. C. III 307.
At his secreit membre falyeit hym wes newer ereckit nor stud to hyr
1568 Skeyne Descr. Pest. 25.
Oyntand also the stomak, lewer and secreit membris with this oyntment
1579, 1617 Despauter (1579).
The secreit memberis
1579, 1617 Despauter (1579).
The hair on the secreit partis
1590 Crim. Trials I ii 206.
For gewing of ane secreit member to Johnne Coutis; and gewing and taking of power fra sindrie mennis memberis
1658 Sc. Ant. IX 50.
[The Devil] gawe hir his mark, as scho confessed in hir secret member

n. In secret wys (maner, sort), secretly, clandestinely. 1468 Smit Bronnen I ii 1019.
Gyff it plesyt ȝow … to wryt on tyll owr soveran lord and his consell in secret vys
a1500 Henr. Test. Cress. 380.
I wald not be kend Thairfoir in secreit wyse ȝe let me gang [etc.]
a1500 Henr. Age & Yowth 54 (M).
To mell with our mouthis meit In sacreit wyse quhair we may nocht be sene
a1500 Lanc. 219.
How he fra that stede In sacret wys wnwyst away was tak
1494 Loutfut MS 109b.
Apon murthir tresson or ony siclike accioun quhilk is done in secret maner
1544 Aberd. B. Rec. I 199.
The consell ordanis thair chartour keyst … to be put in suir fermans for keping in secreit manir
1560 Rolland Seven S. 7012.
Than went this knicht quhen he plesit to the quene In secreit sort, and with na man was sene

o. adv. = sense A adj. (adv.) 1 n above. 1490 Irland Mir. III 130/38.
All takis tent to the lif and gouernaunce of the prince sua that it that he dois secreit is sone reuelit
a1605 Montg. Misc. P. xxxiv 28.
Secreit to meit, my spreit to recreat

2. Of a person: Not given to revealing secrets or private matters, discreet, guarded in communication. 1456 Hay II 162/27.
[A messenger] suld … be nocht vicious na dronkynsum, na leare, bot secret and fiable
c1500-c1512 Dunb. Tua Mar. W. 284.
I had a lufsummar leid … That couth be secrete and sure
c1500-c1512 Dunb. (OUP) 38/24.
Be of ȝour lufe no prechour as a freir: Be secreit, trew, [etc.]
1535 Stewart 55876. c1550 Rolland Ct. Venus i 731.
Lufesum ladyis most secreit, and serene
1556 Lauder Off. Kings 444. 15.. Dunb. App. v 9.
For quha that secreit can nocht be, Him all gud falloschip sall fle
a1568 Bann. MS 256a/21.
Be scho secreit and wyis I sall await on hir serwyis
a1568 Scott xiii 29.
Secreit alswa, in every maner sort
c1590 Fowler II 151/14.
Considdering that this empreour is a prence maist secreit

b. Passing into: That is entrusted with one's private or confidential affairs; confidential. c. The above sense applied ? predic. or ? absol.(a) 1456 Hay II 97/23.
Than suld thou have … about thé … [some] of thy secrete and traist familiaris
c1500-c1512 Dunb. Tua Mar. W. 466.
I have ane secrete servand rycht sobir of his toung
1517 Douglas Corr. 319.
Came … a secrete seruant of the dukes, … to Caldstreme haugh
1528 Lynd. Dreme 22.
Thy purs maister, and secreit thesaurare
1533 Treas. Acc. VI 126.
To ane secret man quhilk brocht writtingis to the kingis grace
1534 Treas. Acc. VI 208.
To Thomas Scot, to be deliverit to ane secrete man [£5]
1545 Wemyss Chart. 171.
Sum secrete myd persoun
Arundel MS. 281/88.
O Mary, … moist secret defendour, schaw to me the pietuous day and hour of my dede
1558-66 Knox II 387.
Marnock, her [sc. Queen Mary's] secreat chalmer-boy
a1578 Pitsc. I 325/10. 1635 Hay Geneal. 90.
Mercie, grace, pittie … [are] proper only to exercyse by secret persones
(b) c1400 Troy-bk. ii 2455, 2459.
He gart two secre spyes come [L. duos secretarios suossagaces exploratores] … And to Thesaly thaim send To Assandrus that he wele kend Was to him stedfast & secre [: Thesalie; L. dudum Pelei et ipsius Pirri fidelem]
1501 Doug. Pal. Hon. 222.
Sine nixt hir raid … Twelf damisellis … Quhilks semit of hir counsell maist secre [: degre]
c. c1400 Troy-bk. ii 2874, 2877.
And syne gart cheis ane ganand sted … And gart close it with wallis hie Quhar fewe lele folk war his secre [L. in quorundam secretariorum suorum fidelissima comitiua], And syne gaif stratlie commanding That none to him suld haf entryng Bot that his secre [L. nisi esset aliquis de suis secretariis supradictis] was ther

d. To keip secre, to observe discretion, maintain secrecy. 1560 Rolland Seven S. 5602.
O gude Maister sa ȝe will keip secre I will ȝow schaw, sa ȝe discouer not me

e. To kepe secreit, ? to keep oneself private, to keep one's thoughts, business, etc., concealed (from (of) one another). 1492 Myll Spect. 292/24.
And at thai [sc. nuns] cum nocht opynly in the cumpanye of the peple bot amangis thaim self and every ane of thaim will kepe secreit of vtheris

B. noun. 1. Something which is hidden from the uninitiated and to which access is gained only by initiation or revelation; a mystery. 1456 Hay I 10/25.
For that is ane office of ane angel, to revele the secretis of God
1456 Hay II 75/26.
The buke callit the Secrete of Secretis of Arestotil ordanyt for document and teching of governaunce of princis
a1500 Henr. Fab. 1648.
Nane suld presume be ressoun naturall To seirche the secreitis [Bann. secretis, Harl. secreities, Ch. secreitties] of the Trinitie
1490 Irland Mir. I 25/31.
The secretis and plesaunce of the Fadere of the hevinly court aboue
1513 Doug. vii xi 3.
Ȝhe Musys now … Reveil the secretis lyand in ȝour myght
c1520-c1535 Nisbet Colloss. i 27.
To quhilkis God wald mak knawne the richessis of the glorie of this sacrait [Vulg. sacramenti; Wycl., P. sacrament] in hethin men
c1520-c1535 Nisbet Ephes. i 9. 1528 Lynd. Dreme 368.
Ȝit we beheld the secretis [sc. of the Earth] maruellous, The mynis of gold, and stonis precious
c1552 Lynd. Mon. 6083.
The secretis of the heuin impyre
Arundel MS 284/189.
Johnne, maist blissit and familiar freind to Crist … amang all the laife maist belouit and with the secrettis of the hevin abone all the laif illuminat and maid cleir
a1570-86 Arbuthnot Maitl. F. 58/90.
Bot quhen I luik the deipis bothumles off Goddis secreit
a1605 Montg. Ch. & Slae 764 (L).
Thair is na boundis bot I haif bene, Nor secreittis fra me hid
1598 James VI Basil. Doron 36/9, etc.
That uaire misnurterid præsumption to stryue to be farther upon Godis secreitis nor he hes uill ye be

2. A fact, plan or course of action intended to be kept private, or revealed only to colleagues or confidants. Sing. and plur.sing. 1456 Hay II 78/6.
Bot it that I have put in this buke here, the quhilk is my secret, the quhilk and thou will rede [etc.]
1490 Irland Mir. III 163/1 (see A 1 f (a) above). a1500 Bk. Chess. 1761.
Thar gudis kepe & thair secret conseile
1513 Doug. iv Prol. 94.
Be nevir our set … With lust of wyne nor warkis veneryane; Thai febill the strenth; revelys secrete bath two, Stryfe and debait engendris, [etc.]
1549 Compl. 132/27.
Sum tyme coniuration is reuelit throught facilnes of the coniuratours that schauis there secret til ane voman or til ony frende that thai loue hartfully
1563 Cal. Sc. P. II 24.
But becaus I understand more than I am assured ye do in that secreat, ye please do not be offended
1581 Bann. Memor. 320.
Being enquyred … gif he knew ony farder secreit therinto he ansuerit, ‘As I sal ansuer to God, I knew na mair secreit in that matter nor I haue already tauld’
1584 Sempill Sat. P. xlv 784.
With mony flattering taill and fals He held that bischop in the hals; Seiking the secreit of his wittis
1595 Highland P. I 160.
Ardkinglas speirit … geif John Oig her husband wes in use to tell hir his secretes. She ansurit that hir husband had revealit to hir the greatest secrete that ever he had
1638 Hamilton P. (Camden Soc.) 27.
Knowing thatt whatt I had said to them and manie of the consall neather could nor uoold be keeped as ane serecrett
(b) 1560 Rolland Seven S. 7009.
This same masoun he killit incontinent That he suld not discouer his secre
1584-9 Maxwall Commonpl. Bk. fol. 4a.
Nether to thy freinde, nor ȝit to thy fa, Schaw nocht thy secrie
pl. 1456 Hay I 116/24.
Quhen ony is send in message to the inymyes, and he discover the secretis of the ost to the inymyes, aw to tyne his hede
1456 Hay I 122/19.
That he sall never be at scathe of his secretis, … of the quhilkis his lord haldis him seure
a1500 Seven S. 696.
Kepe ȝour secretis & hele ȝour barne
1494 Loutfut MS 131b.
Oft tymis it is sene thaat quhar the secrettis of men of were is wittin to thair enemys it is tynsaill of mony noble men
a1538 Abell 120 (bis) a.
George Brown prowinciall of the Augustin freris & John Lilpen prowinciall of the blak freris quhilkis suld schaw all the fawtis and secretis of ws and othir religios men
c1552 Lynd. Mon. 4367. 1567 Dundee Chart. 151.
Gif any person … reveil … the secretts … he heirs in the counsall … [he is] to be dischargit of said place in the counsall as ane missworne person
1590 Crim. Trials I ii 197.
In caise thair war ony man or woman in the company, quhilk they war nocht privat of thair secretis
c1600 Montg. Suppl. xxii 2.
The invard secrettis of ingyne
(b) 1530 Aberd. B. Rec. I 448.
Neuer to rewele … the secreits … of this guyd toun
c1550 Lynd. Meldrum 33.
Thairof I wryte, … Secreits, that I did not knaw, That nobill squyer did me schaw
1560 Rolland Seven S. 6855. a1578 Pitsc. I 6/8.
O litill buik … Salutt that lord … And … schaw him thy secreittis moir and les from the begynning wnto the end
a1578 Pitsc. I 290/18.
Pryour Johnne Hepburne … schew the duike … of all the secreittis and demireittis of the lorde Home … witht all wther secreittis and inventiouns that he could inwent
1581 Bann. Memor. 320.
The secreitis thairof [sc. of the murder of Darnley] as yit hes not bene declaired
1631 Justiciary Cases I 189.
That the Erles of Melrose and Roxburgh war acquainted with the particulares and secreittis of that bussines
(c) 1598 James VI Basil. Doron 170/8.
Behaue youre self sa in youre greatest secreatis as ye neid not be ashamed suppose thay uaire all proclamed at the crosse
(d) a1578 Pitsc. II 237/16.
Thair was ane serwand of my lord regentis quha … had gret creddit of all his secrittis and wreittingis
(e) 1375 Barb. iv 577.
As he that worthy wes and leile And couth secreis [C. secretis] rycht weill conseill

b. In the Biblical phrase (e.g. Coverdale Psalms xliv 21) the (hid, quiet) secretis of the (one's etc.) hart. 1540 Lynd. Sat. 758.
Thairfoir wyvis … schawis the secreitis of thair hairtis To freiris
c1552 Lynd. Mon. 1759.
The hid secretis of mannis hart
1560 Rolland Seven S. 698. 1558-66 Knox I 416. a1568 Scott x 16.
Ȝit I stand aw For to furthschaw The quyet secreitis of my harte
1581 Burne Disput. 174.
To vndirstand quhidder this be hypocritall, … thay man knau the maist hid secreitis of the hairt
1596 Dalr. I 221/8.
Be declairing and apneng vpe quhat lyis in the secreitis of thair harte
1696 Knoop & Jones Sc. Mason 83.
Under the lap of my liver where all the secrets of my heart lie

c. The Secreta, a prayer or prayers recited in a low voice or in silence by the celebrant of the mass after the Offertory and before the Preface. a1400 Leg. S. xxxix 1.
Of haly messe in the secre Syndry sanctis set we se

3. A secret or hidden place. 1584 Sempill Sat. P. xlv 774.
Vpon ane dyke doun was he sett Into a secreit out of sicht
1596 Dalr. I 323/17.
The conspiratouris all ar present; thay are conuoyet in be a conduit or secreit [L. per cloacam]

b. In or into secre, in private, in secrecy, ? also, into a private place. 1460 Hay Alex. 15115.
The quene tuke Antegone into secre And tald him sum thing of hir private
c1475 Wall. iv 403.
Wallace with hyr in secre maid him glaid

4. a. In secret, secretly, privately; in a secret, in confidence. b. To make no secret of, to make no attempt to conceal (something).a. (1) a1500 Seven S. 654.
In secrete said he to the quene, ‘Madame [etc.]’
a1500 Seven S. 704.
The qwene in secret gaf fer mare
1558-66 Knox II 279.
Neather Protestant nor Papist shalbe abill to prove, that any suche questioun was at any time moved in publict or in secreat
1591-2 Rob Stene 6.
He beiris as freind into thair faice, In secreit, seikand thair disgraice
c1600 Montg. Suppl. xxxiv 22.
Quhat evere man befor hes done, In secreitt or in sicht, In presence of that feirfull throne, it selbe brocht to licht
1655 Mouswald Kirk S. 9 Dec.
Whether or no they are seikeris of God in secreit by themselffes
(2) 1683 Cramond Kirk S. II 11 March.
Christian Lawrence … reported to her in a secret, … that James Donaldson her husband was too oft drinkeing with Isobell Matthie
b. 1663 Mackenzie Affairs 89.
I am informed the Earl of Newburgh … read his list and desired to make no secret of it

5. The private part(s), the genital(s). plur. and sing. = Secret adj. 1 m above. c1552 Lynd. Mon. 986.
Than … thay … maid thame breikis of leuis grene, That thair secreitis suld nocht be sene
1568 Skeyne Descr. Pest 33.
Gif betwix the heid & secret memberis sic appeir oppin that vaine of the leuer … Gif benethe the secreittis sic diseis appeir [etc.]
1619 Perth Kirk S. 19 Jan.
He hed laitlie abuseit James Smythis wyff in hir awin hous and pat wp his hand and tuik hir be the secreit and hir womb

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"Secret adj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 23 Jun 2024 <>



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