se·cre·tive (sēkrĭ-tĭv, sĭ-krētĭv)
a. Having a tendency to keep one's thoughts or activities unknown to others: a secretive neighbor; secretive spy agencies.
b. Characterized by or done in secrecy: a secretive meeting; a secretive act.
2. Suggestive of the keeping of secrets: a secretive look; a secretive whisper.
3. Tending to remain concealed. Used of animals.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.