cern-, cert-, cer-; cret-, creet-, cre-

(Latin: to separate, to sift, to distinguish, to understand, to decide, to determine; separated, separation, to set apart; the glandular extraction or the movement out of a natural substance)

Used to express the ability a person has to distinguish, or to perceive, something with the eyes and the mind. Related to crit-; as in criticize, diacritical, critique, etc.

indiscreetly (adverb), more indiscreetly, most indiscreetly
Without self-restraint; not polite: Patricia inquired indiscreetly about the condition of her neighbor's health.
indiscreetness (s) (noun) (no plural)
Lacking good judgment or intelligence..
indiscrete (adjective), more indiscrete, most indiscrete
1. Not separated; unified.
2. Not consisting of distinct parts.
indiscretion (s) (noun), indiscretions (pl)
A lack of good judgment or care in behavior and especially in speech: As a reporter for the city newspaper, Eve has been criticized for showing indiscretion regarding her written remarks about the mayor.
recrement (s) (noun), recrements (pl)
1. Any organ or part of the body (as the kidneys, skin, etc,) which serves to carry off excrementitious or waste matter.
2. Excrement or matter excreted and ejected; that which is excreted or cast out of an animal body by any of the natural emunctories; especially, alvine (intestines), discharges; dung; ordure (solid excretory products evacuated from the bowels).

Emunctories are any organs, or parts of the body; such as, the kidneys, skin, etc, which serve to carry off excrementitious or waste matter.

secern (verb), secerns; secerned; secerning
To identify or to perceive something as separate.
secrecy (s) (noun), secrecies (pl)
1. A concealment or a condition of being concealed or hidden: David's movements were detected in spite of their secrecy.
2. Etymology: existing from about 1423, secretee, "quality of being secret"; from Old French secré, a variant of secret which is from Latin secretus, "set apart, withdrawn, hidden"; originally the past participle of secernere, "to set apart"; which came from se-, "without, apart" with the extended meaning of "on one's own".
secret (lexicomedy)
Something told to one person at a time.
secret (s) (noun), secrets (pl)
1. Known by only a few people and intentionally withheld from general knowledge: "I want to tell you a secret, but you must promise not to tell anyone else."
2. Keeping information hidden from other people or to very few people and consequently quiet and secluded: "They lived in a secret location of the suburbs."
3. A special or unusual way of doing something to achieve a good result: "She shared her beauty secrets with the small group."
4. Something which cannot be explained: "There are many secrets of the universe and even of many aspects of nature here on Earth."
5. Etymology: anything that is secret is "separated" from others; hence, "put out of the way, hidden".

The word comes via Old French secret from Latin secretus, an adjectival use of the past participle of secernere, "to separate". This was a compound verb formed from the prefix se-, "apart" and cernere, "to separate".

From the 16th to the 18th centuries, secret was used as a verb, meaning "to hide", but it was then altered to secrete, based on the model of Latin secretus.

secret agent (s) (noun), secret agents (pl)
Someone who tries to get secret information about another country, government, etc.: Mildred's sister was accused of being a secret agent for a foreign government.
secretagogic (adjective), more secretagogic, most secretagogic
1. Descriptive of a substance that causes or stimulates secretion; such as, a hormone.
2. That which stimulates secreting organs.
secretagogue, secretogogue (s) (noun); secretagogues, secretogogues (pl)
1. An agent that promotes, or stimulates, secretion. Also sebiagogic.
2. A hormone or other agent that causes, or increases, secretion.
secretariate (s) (noun), secretariates (pl)
The officials or office entrusted with administrative duties, maintaining records, and overseeing or performing secretarial duties; especially, for an international organization; such as, the secretariat of the United Nations: "He was a United Nations secretariat."
secretary (s) (noun), secretaries (pl)
1. Someone who does general clerical and administrative work such as word-processing, filing, and arranging appointments for an individual or an organization; someone who is entrusted with secrets; a confidential officer.
2. In the United States, an official who advises the President in various fields and who is selected by the President and is in charge of a particular department of the government; such as, Attorney General, Secretary of Agriculture, Secretary of Commerce, Secretary of Education, Secretary of Energy, Secretary of Health and Human Services, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Secretary of Labor, Secretary of State, Secretary of Interior, Secretary of Treasury, Secretary of Transportation, and the Secretary of Veterans Affairs. Is anyone missing?
3. Etymology: "a person entrusted with secrets", from Medieval Latin secretarius, "clerk, notary, confidential officer, confidant"; from Latin secretum, "a secret".

The meaning, "a person who keeps records, writes letters, etc."; originally, for a king, was first recorded in about 1400.

secrete (verb), secretes; secreted; secreting
1. To produce and to give off some form of physiologically produced liquid or substance: Glands in the mouth secrete saliva and there are other functional areas in the body that also secrete enzymes, hormones, metabolites (chemical changes), etc.

Cells, glands, and organs secrete chemical substances (enzymes or hormones) which are needed for physical processes in various parts of the body.

2. To put something in a hidden or secret place: Mike was keeping his assets secreted in a foreign bank account.

Delores was secreting her savings in a special safe-deposit box in her local bank for greater security instead of at home.

3. Etymology, origin: from Latin secernere, "to set apart, to separate, to hide".
To hide or to conceal.
© ALL rights are reserved.

To keep secret or hidden.
© ALL rights are reserved.

To deposit in a place of hiding.
© ALL rights are reserved.

Go to this Word A Day Revisited Index
so you can see more of Mickey Bach's cartoons.