The Meaning of NDA: What It Is and How To Use It

Have you heard the acronym NDA before when used in business? This article will show you the meaning of NDA and how to use one.

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Have you ever had to sign an NDA? These agreements are fairly standard in many industries, and having a better understanding of NDAs may help you as you continue your business journey. Even if you’re aren’t regularly signing NDAs, learning more about them can be an interesting way to spend an afternoon.

What Does NDA Stand For?

According to Investopedia, the term NDA stands for non-disclosure agreement. These are legal contracts that establish a relationship of confidentiality. NDAs are created so that the recipient of sensitive information is under a legal obligation to keep things to themselves. 

NDAs are often drafted between businesses and clients, between business and contractors, between businesses and employees, or between businesses and other businesses. This confidential relationship is used to protect proprietary information such as trade secrets, information about mergers and acquisitions, transactions, manufacturing processes, patents, customer lists, business plans, copyright, potential investors, injunctions, and more. 

An NDA violation could lead to a court order or dispute against the receiving party from the disclosing party since they have broken the written contract. Sometimes, an NDA only has a specific duration and expires after a certain amount of time. Further disclosures might be added, or an NDA might have exclusions.

In order to form an NDA, you can use an NDA template or work with a lawyer. It is very important to follow any NDA that you sign for the noted timeframe; otherwise, sharing this information could get you in legal trouble for breach of contract. 

Types of NDAs

There are numerous different types of NDAs, and it is important to know the difference before signing one. If you have information that you need to protect, you must make sure that you are signing a mutual, bilateral, or multilateral NDA and not a unilateral or non-mutual NDA. 

Keep reading to learn the difference between these types of NDAs. 

Mutual Non-Disclosure Agreements

Mutual non-disclosure agreements, also known as a bilateral NDA or multilateral NDA, are non-disclosure agreements that are signed by all parties. These agreements ensure that neither party will share sensitive or confidential information about the other. These are often used between businesses or between any two parties that both have information that they need to protect.

Non-Mutual Non-Disclosure Agreements

Non-mutual non-disclosure agreements, also known as a unilateral NDA, are non-disclosure agreements that are one sided because only one of the parties has information that they need to protect. This type of agreement ensures that the signing party cannot share information about the party that is requesting the NDA. This type of NDA is often signed by employees of a business. 

What Are Synonyms of NDA?

The term NDA references a very specific type of legal agreement. If you are looking for a term that refers to an element of confidentiality but is not specifically an NDA, you can try using a synonym of nondisclosure from Power Thesaurus. These will ensure no one gets confused about whether you are talking about an actual legal document:

  • attorney-client privilege
  • behind closed doors
  • clandestine
  • concealment
  • confidentiality agreement
  • confidentiality clause
  • confidentiality obligation
  • confidentiality requirement
  • deep dark secret
  • denial
  • gag law
  • gag order
  • gag rule
  • gagging law
  • gagging order
  • hidden treasure
  • hiding
  • investigation secrecy
  • judicial confidentiality
  • last
  • order banning publication
  • order of non-disclosure
  • orison
  • pledge of secrecy
  • privacy
  • prohibiting discussing publicly
  • prohibition of public discussion
  • proprietary information agreement
  • secret
  • secrecy agreement

What Are Antonyms of NDA?

If you’re searching for the right word that means the opposite of nondisclosure, look no further than the below list of antonyms of nondisclosure from Power Thesaurus. All of these words can be used to describe things that are disclosed or not kept a secret:

  • acknowledgment
  • admission
  • advertisement
  • affirmation
  • announcement
  • apocalypse
  • assertion
  • avowal
  • betrayal
  • briefing
  • broadcasting
  • communication
  • communications
  • confession
  • declaration
  • details
  • detection
  • disclosing
  • discovery
  • dissemination
  • divulge
  • expose
  • exposure
  • expression
  • eye opener
  • giving away
  • info
  • information
  • informing
  • intelligence
  • leak
  • making public
  • manifestation
  • promulgation
  • publication
  • publicity
  • publishing
  • release
  • report
  • reporting
  • reveal
  • revealing
  • revealment
  • revelation
  • statement
  • testimony
  • uncovering
  • unfolding
  • unmasking
  • unveiling

What Are Other Meanings of NDA? 

If you are are discussing contracts, it is likely that the term NDA will stand for non-disclosure agreement. However, if you are speaking or writing about something else, The Free Dictionary lists a number of addition meanings for the acronym NDA:

  • National Dealers Association
  • Northern Domestic Airspace
  • Niagara Divers’ Association
  • National Distribution Authority
  • Nigerian Defense Academy (est. 1964)
  • National Dance Agency (UK)
  • Non Disclosure Agreement
  • National Drilling Association
  • Natural Death Act (Washington)
  • National Disability Authority (Ireland)
  • Non-Disturbance Agreement
  • National Directory Assistance (Sprint)
  • Next Day Air
  • Network Data Anonymization
  • Night Duty Allowance (on overtime forms)
  • National Day of Action
  • Nebraska Dressage Association
  • National Diploma of Agriculture (UK)
  • National Defense Academy (military training school in India)
  • Non-Destructive Assay
  • Notre Dame Academy
  • National Defense Act (USA)
  • National Defense Area
  • Not Diagnosed with Anything
  • Nonprescription Drug Advisory (US FDA)
  • New Drug Application (US FDA)
  • Nuffield Department of Anesthetics (University of Oxford; UK)
  • National Dart Association
  • National Department of Agriculture (South Africa)
  • National Defense Academy (Japan)
  • Nebraska Dietetic Association
  • National Democratic Alliance (group of political parties in India)
  • National Defense Act (Canada)
  • No Detectable Activity
  • National Deaf Academy
  • Non-Destructive Analysis
  • Not Deliverable as Addressed (shipping)
  • Network Design Activity
  • New Defense Agenda (Brussels, Belgium)
  • Network Data Analyzer
  • Nissan Design America (La Jolla, CA)
  • No Data Available
  • National Dance Association
  • Never Die Alone
  • Nevada Department of Agriculture (est. 1915)
  • Nederlandse Dealer Associatie (Dutch)
  • New Dimensional Applications (SAP)
  • Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (UK)
  • Nepal Dental Association (Lalitpur, Nepal)
  • Normal Daily Activity
  • Natural Disaster Assistance
  • Non-Data-Aided
  • Nevada Development Authority
  • National Dental Association


To recap, NDA stands for non-disclosure agreement. This is used in business as a legal document that ensures no confidential or proprietary information is leaked.


  1. NDA – What does NDA stand for? | The Free Dictionary 
  2. Disclosure Antonyms | Power Thesaurus 
  3. Disclosure synonyms – 815 Words and Phrases for Disclosure | Power Thesaurus 
  4. Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) Definition | Investopedia