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bare (one's) breast

1. To expose oneself in a vulnerable or unguarded position, especially to that which may cause harm or distress. I bare my breast to you, so do as you will. I am at your mercy! He bared his breast to the armed guards to show that he was not a threat.
2. To share with another person one's private emotions and thoughts, especially those that are emotionally troubling or make oneself vulnerable to the other person in some way. I bared my breast to Samantha and told her how much I loved her.
See also: bare, breast

make a clean breast

To confess one's misdeeds or wrongdoings. I felt so guilty about cheating on the test that I had to make a clean breast of it to my teacher.
See also: breast, clean, make

beat (one's) breast

To publicly express emotions or views that one does not actually feel or support. During election season, all the candidates beat their breasts about how much they love our communities—and then they get into office and slash community initiatives.
See also: beat, breast

make a clean breast of something (to someone)

Fig. to admit something to someone. You should make a clean breast of the matter to someone. You'll feel better if you make a clean breast of the incident.
See also: breast, clean, make, of

keep abreast of something

to have the most recent information about something stay abreast of something This new service helps doctors keep abreast of the newest drugs available.
See also: abreast, keep, of

beat your breast

to publicly pretend that you feel sad or guilty Managers are beating their breasts about the loss of 50 jobs, but staff suspect more redundancies are on the way.
See also: beat, breast

make a clean breast of it

to tell the truth about something, especially something bad or illegal that you have done, so that you do not have to feel guilty any more After months of lying about the money, I decided to make a clean breast of it and tell the truth.
See also: breast, clean, make, of

keep abreast of

Stay or cause to stay up-to-date with, as in He's keeping abreast of the latest weather reports, or Please keep me abreast of any change in his condition. This term alludes to the nautical sense of abreast, which describes ships keeping up with each other. [Late 1600s]
See also: abreast, keep, of

make a clean breast of

Confess fully, as in Caught shoplifting, the girls decided to make a clean breast of it to their parents. This expression, first recorded in 1752, uses clean breast in the sense of baring of one's heart, the breast long considered the seat of private or secret feelings.
See also: breast, clean, make, of

make a clean breast of

To confess fully.
See also: breast, clean, make, of
References in classic literature ?
But he drew the dark mantle closer over his breast and answered coldly,--
At length the mantle was finished, and amid the gray threads shone golden ones, making it bright; and she sent it to the King, entreating him to wear it, for it would bring peace and love to dwell within his breast.
roared the object of Roderick's persecution, at the same time giving an instinctive clutch to his breast.
exclaimed the divine; but, nevertheless, his hand stole to his breast.
I'm sorry I had to put a patch on your breast, but it really couldn't be helped.
Sheba's Breasts had scarcely vanished into cloud-clad privacy, before our thirst--literally a burning question--reasserted itself.
We are now on a level with the precipitous chain, or wall of lava, linking the two Breasts, and the view is glorious.
High up among the branches of a mighty tree she hugged the shrieking infant to her bosom, and soon the instinct that was as dominant in this fierce female as it had been in the breast of his tender and beautiful mother--the instinct of mother love--reached out to the tiny man-child's half-formed understanding, and he became quiet.
Grimaud drew from his breast a large letter, upon the envelope of which was traced the address of Athos.
There was the figure of the white prisoner still securely bound as they had last seen him, and in the centre of the hut another figure equally as motionless, its throat and breasts horribly torn and mangled.
Spizo the Spaniard had seen De Montfort's man leave the note with Father Claude and he had seen the priest hide it under a great bowl on his table, so that when the good father left his cottage it was the matter of but a moment's work for Spizo to transfer the message from its hiding place to the breast of his tunic.
The bull struck full upon the small of his back across the limb, hung there for a moment with the ape-man still upon his breast, and then toppled over toward the ground.
While the footsteps approached, they breathed quickly, breast to breast, with hard, laboured breaths, as if theirs had been the attitude of a deadly struggle, while, in fact, it was the attitude of deadly fear.
He put the roses in his breast and they walked on for a little while, slowly and silently, under the umbrageous trees.
Spit on the city of compressed souls and slender breasts, of pointed eyes and sticky fingers--