breathe a word

(not) breathe a word

To share information that is supposed to be kept secret. Often used in the negative to encourage silence. And if you breathe a word of this to the cops, we'll come after you. I was told not to breathe a word, but I knew I had to tell someone about such serious allegations.
See also: breathe, word

(not) breathe a ˈword (about/of something) (to somebody)

(not) tell somebody something, especially something secret: Please don’t breathe a word of this to anyone.
See also: breathe, word
References in classic literature ?
Jim and I shall stick together in the meanwhile; you'll take Joyce and Hunter when you ride to Bristol, and from first to last, not one of us must breathe a word of what we've found.
Do not breathe a word nor make the least sign to me or Porthos," said D'Artagnan to Athos and Aramis, "that you recognize this man, for Milady is not dead; her soul lives in the body of this demon.
Polly clutched Fan at that, and held her tight, saying sternly, "If you ever breathe a word, drop a hint, look a look that will tell him or any one else about me, I 'll yes, as sure as my name is Mary Milton I 'll proclaim from the housetops that you like Ar " Polly got no further, for Fan's hand was on her mouth, and Fan's alarmed voice vehemently protested, "I won't
You think I dare not breathe a word for my own sake," he continued.