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

  • n. The process of secreting a substance, especially one that is not a waste, from the blood or cells: secretion of hormones; secretion of milk by the mammary glands.
  • n. A substance, such as saliva, mucus, tears, bile, or a hormone, that is secreted.
  • n. The act of concealing something in a hiding place.
  • n. The act of stealing something secretly.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Any substance that is secreted by an organism.
  • n. The act of secreting a substance, especially from a gland.
  • n. The act of hiding something.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The act of secreting or concealing.
  • n. The act of secreting; the process by which material is separated from the blood through the agency of the cells of the various glands and elaborated by the cells into new substances so as to form the various secretions, as the saliva, bile, and other digestive fluids. The process varies in the different glands, and hence are formed the various secretions.
  • n. Any substance or fluid secreted, or elaborated and emitted, as the gastric juice.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In physiology:
  • n. In animal physiology, the process of preparing and separating substances by glandular activity.
  • n. In vegetable physiology, the process by which substances are separated from the sap of vegetables.
  • n. A substance or product secreted, or elaborated and emitted.
  • n. Synonyms Excretion, Secretion. See excretion.
  • n. A mineral deposit formed in a fissure or cavity by growth inward from the walls: contrasted with concretion, which grows outward from a nucleus.

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

  • n. the organic process of synthesizing and releasing some substance
  • n. a functionally specialized substance (especially one that is not a waste) released from a gland or cell


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

French sécrétion, from Old French, separation, from Latin sēcrētiō, sēcrētiōn-, from sēcrētus, past participle of sēcernere, to set aside; see secern.
From secrete2.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

1646, from French sécrétion, from Latin secretionem



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  • I also had to perform my first New York State Sexual Offense Evidence Collection Kit, commonly (and inaccurately) called the rape kit. . . . The rape kit is a set of tools for collecting trace evidence, DNA, and evidence of sexual activity, whether consensual or not. Combined with a physical exam finding of bruising or laceration, the presence of sexual evidence might indicate the sex was not consensual—but my job was only to gather this evidence, and the police or DA would decide whether they needed it to press a charge.

    The rape kit consisted of a plastic bag with four cotton swabs and a bunch of small prelabeled envelopes, which fit inside one large envelope. The first swab was labeled to sample the vaginal vault, the second the anal area, and the third the oral cavity. The fourt swab was for "secretions." I didn't know what to do with it. . . . "Oh, that's for any suspeicious gunk you find anywhere else on the body," (a colleague) said. There was a fingernail clipper in the kit, and separate envelopes for the left and right fingernails—an assailant's DNA can be retrieved from under the victim's nails.

    Judy Melinek, M.D. & T.J. Mitchell, Working Stiff: Two Years, 262 Bodies, and the Making of a Medical Examiner (New York: Scribner: 2014), p. 112 (emphasis added).

    March 8, 2016