1. (noun) The quality of being confidential or held in secrecy.

2. (noun) A research protocol in which only a researcher can identify a respondent but protects their identity.

Example: Conducting face-to-face interviews but anonomizing the data.

Audio Pronunciation: (con·fi·den·ti·al·i·ty)

Download Audio Pronunciation: confidentiality.mp3

Usage Notes:

  • Plural: confidentialities
  • Confidentiality is not the same as anonymity. When no one including the researcher can identify a research participant, the participant is protected by anonymity, not confidentiality.
  • Confidentiality used in sentence: The research requirements for the class’ study of gendered violence required confidentiality.
  • A researcher (adverb) confidentially assures a participants identity will remain (adjective) confidential and that the participants have (noun) confidentialness.

Additional Information:

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Works Consulted

Collins English Dictionary: Complete and Unabridged. 6th ed. 2003. Glasgow, Scotland: Collins.

Ferris, Kerry, and Jill Stein. 2010. The Real World: An Introduction to Sociology. 2nd ed. New York: Norton.

Jary, David, and Julia Jary. 2000. Collins Dictionary of Sociology. 3rd ed. Glasgow, Scotland: HarperCollins.

Kornblum, William. 2008. Sociology in a Changing World. 8th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

Oxford University Press. (N.d.) Oxford Dictionaries. (

Princeton University. 2010. WordNet. (

Wikipedia contributors. (N.d.) Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation. (


How to Cite the Definition of Confidentiality

ASA – American Sociological Association (5th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2014. “confidentiality.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Retrieved July 18, 2019 (

APA – American Psychological Association (6th edition)

confidentiality. (2014). In K. Bell (Ed.), Open education sociology dictionary. Retrieved from

Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date – Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2014. “confidentiality.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Accessed July 18, 2019.

MLA – Modern Language Association (7th edition)

“confidentiality.” Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Ed. Kenton Bell. 2014. Web. 18 Jul. 2019. <>.