Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Done or communicated in confidence; secret.
  • adj. Entrusted with the confidence of another: a confidential secretary.
  • adj. Denoting confidence or intimacy: a confidential tone of voice.
  • adj. Containing information, the unauthorized disclosure of which poses a threat to national security.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. kept secret within a certain circle of persons; not intended to be known publicly

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Enjoying, or treated with, confidence; trusted in; trustworthy.
  • adj. Communicated in confidence; secret.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Enjoying the confidence of another; intrusted with secrets or with private affairs: as, a confidential friend or clerk.
  • Intended to be treated as private, or kept in confidence; spoken or written in confidence; secret.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. entrusted with private information and the confidence of another
  • adj. (of information) given in confidence or in secret
  • adj. the level of official classification for documents next above restricted and below secret; available only to persons authorized to see documents so classified
  • adj. denoting confidence or intimacy

Etymologies

From Latin confidentia +‎ -al. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Because keeping the supply chain confidential is so important to buyers, they try to impose confidentiality on their suppliers.

    China Makes, The World Takes

  • Informants give you information in the public interest and say that their career, liberty or life depend on keeping their name confidential.

    Public interest should trump self-interest | Nick Cohen

  • Obeid said the SPLM violated provisions of the CPA by signing what he described as confidential agreements with the U.S. government.

    Unresolved Issues Will Render Referendum 'Illegimate' Warns Sudan Party Official

  • The daily newspaper for the Lorraine region in eastern France printed what it described as a confidential document from the French foreign intelligence service DGSE citing an uncorroborated report from Saudi secret services that the leader of the al-Qaida terror network had died…

    reports of Bin Laden’s death are “unconfirmed” « raincoaster

  • Whenever his mother wanted what she called a confidential talk with him she always selected the sofa as the most suitable ground on which to open her campaign.

    The Way of All Flesh

  • "He then presented a letter," says the President in his private journal, "which he termed confidential, and to be considered as addressed to me in my private character, which was too strongly marked with an intention, as well as a wish, to have no person between the Minister and President, in the transaction of business between the two nations."

    The Life of George Washington, Vol. 4 (of 5) Commander in Chief of the American Forces During the War which Established the Independence of his Country and First President of the United States

  • Goddard submitted to the court a copy of what he calls a confidential memo from Gannett to Lee prepared in January when it was first announced that the Citizen would close unless a buyer was found.

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  • Ahmadinejad was asked by ABC News about a Times of London report last week on what it called a confidential Iranian technical document describing a four-year plan to test a neutron initiator, the part of a nuclear warhead that sets off an explosion.

    Top Headlines

  • The NCL made the allegation after what it described as a confidential tip led the organization to commission independent testing of Ocean Spray's Choice cranberries, which are sold to food manufacturers for use as an ingredient in cereal bars, baked goods, trail mixes and other snacks.

    FoodNavigator-USA RSS

  • Ahmadinejad was asked by ABC News about a report last week in "The Times" of London on what it called a confidential Iranian technical document describing a four-year plan to test a neutron initiator, the part of a nuclear warhead that sets off an explosion.

    Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty

Comments

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  • He was becoming confidential now, but I fancy my unresponsive attitude must have exasperated him at last, for he judged it necessary to inform me that he feared neither God nor devil, let alone any mere man.
    --Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad

    March 9, 2011