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The figurative place where one hides one's practice of Wicca or other Pagan religious beliefs or activities from other people, likened to a homosexual person being "in the closet" when he or she has not publicly revealed his or her sexual orientation. "Broom" is a reference to the stereotypical accessory of witches. I had been studying the intricacies of real witchcraft for several years before I came out of the broom closet to my parents.
have (a) skeleton(s) in (one's)/the closet
To have (an) embarassing, unpleasant, damaging, or incriminating secret(s) from one's past. Primarily heard in US. Even the most seemingly perfect people have some pretty shocking skeletons in their closets. She has a skeleton in her closet that could ruin her chance at the presidency if the press were to find out about it. My agoraphobia has always been something of a skeleton in the closet for me.
closet someone with someone
to put someone into a private room with someone else for the purposes of conducting business. She closeted herself with the president and finally, once and for all, had her say.
See also: closet
1. Lit to exit; to leave the inside of a place. Please come out. We have to leave. When do you think they will all come out?
2. Fig. to result; to succeed; to happen. I hope everything comes out fine. It will come out okay. Don't worry.
3. Fig. to come before the public; [for a book] to be published; [for a report] to be made public. A new magazine has just come out. When will your next book come out?
4. Fig. to become visible or evident. His pride came out in his refusal to accept help. The real reason finally came out, and it was not flattering.
5. Fig. [for a young woman] to make a social debut. (Now only done in certain U.S. regions.) Does your daughter plan to come out this year?
6. Fig. to reveal one's homosexuality. (See also out of the closet.) Herbie finally came out when he was forty-five.
(of someone or something) to emerge from someone or something. Did that pile of books really come out of just one office? The lion came out of its den.
come out(of something)
1. and come out from something Lit. to exit from something. When will they come out of that meeting? The people came out from the houses and celebrated.
2. Fig. to result from something. Nothing at all came out of our discussions.
*out of the closet
1. Fig. revealing one's secret interests. (*Typically: be ~; Come ~; get ~.) Tom Brown came out of the closet and admitted that he likes to knit. It's time that all of you lovers of chamber music came out of the closet and attended our concerts.
2. Fig. revealing that one is homosexual. (*Typically: be ~; Come ~; bring someone ~.) Tom surprised his parents when he came out of the closet. It was difficult for him to be out of the closet.
skeleton(s) in the closet
a hidden and shocking secret. You can ask anyone about how reliable I am. I don't mind. I don't have any skeletons in the closet. My uncle was in jail for a day once. That's our family's skeleton in the closet.
come out of the closet
1. to be willing to talk in public about something that was kept secret The biggest surprise was that so many viewers came out of the closet and publicly supported the show.
2. to announce that you are attracted to people of the same sex come out Not all gays come out of the closet, either because they don't want to or don't need to.
Usage notes: sometimes used without come in both meanings: We're bringing adoption out of the closet and trying to make people more comfortable with it. He's out of the closet with his friends, but not at work.
1. to be made public There have been so many different medical reports coming out.
2. to announce that you are attracted to people of the same sex come out of the closet A lot of people were surprised when the senator came out.
3. to become available In my business you have to be aware of what new music has come out.
Usage notes: said especially about a movie, book, or recorded music
a skeleton in the/somebody's closet
a secret that would cause embarrassment if it were known People almost always have skeletons in their closets, parts of their lives they don't want to reveal.
come out of the closet
1. to talk in public about something which you kept secret in the past because you were embarrassed about it It's time hairy women came out of the closet. It's a problem that affects all women to a greater or lesser degree.
2. to tell people that you are homosexual (= sexually attracted to people of the same sex as you) so that it is no longer a secret He finally decided to come out of the closet so his mother would stop asking him why he wasn't married.
a skeleton in the/your cupboard(British & Australian) also a skeleton in the/your closet (American)
an embarrassing secret If you want to be a successful politician, you can't afford to have too many skeletons in your cupboard.
1. Become known, be discovered, as in The whole story came out at the trial. [c. 1200]
2. Be issued or brought out, as in My new book is coming out this month. [Late 1500s]
3. Make a formal debut in society or on the stage, as in In New York, debutantes come out in winter. [Late 1700s]
4. End up, result, as in Everything came out wrong. [Mid-1800s] Also see come out ahead.
5. come out for or against . Declare oneself publicly in favor of or opposed to someone or something, as in The governor came out for a tax cut, or Many senators came out against the bill. [Late 1800s]
6. Also, come out of the closet. Reveal that one is homosexual, as in The military has specific policies regarding soldiers who come out of the closet while enlisted . [Mid-1900s] Also see the subsequent entries beginning with come out.
skeleton in the closet
A shameful secret, as in Both her parents were alcoholics; that was the skeleton in her closet. This metaphoric term alludes to a murder victim long concealed in a closet, possibly based on some true incident that is now forgotten. [Early 1800s]
1. To leave some enclosed space: The dog went into the shed, but he won't come out.
2. To go and spend time outside of where one lives: Every summer we come out to the country to get fresh air. Why don't you come out with us after work and see the play?
3. To appear or come into view: Look, the stars are coming out!
4. To have a visibly successful outcome: None of my photographs of the UFO came out.
5. To become known: The whole story came out at the trial.
6. To be issued or brought out: The author's new book just came out.
7. To declare oneself publicly: The governor came out in favor of tax breaks.
8. To reveal that one is a gay man, a lesbian, or a bisexual: The celebrity came out on national television.
9. To make a formal social debut: She came out at age 18 in New York City.
10. To end up in some state; result in being something: I hope everything comes out well. My painting came out a big mess.
11. come out to To result in some total amount; sum up to some amount: The bill for the dinner comes out to $15 per person.
12. come out with To offer something new for sale: The band is coming out with a new record next week.
mod. secret; concealed. (see also come out of the closet.) Marty is a closet chocolate fiend.
come out of the closet
in. to appear publicly as a homosexual; to cease concealing one’s homosexuality. (The phrase has many nonsexual metaphorical meanings.) They say he came out of the closet when he was eight years old.
n. a shower (bath). P.U. Willy. You need a trip to the rain closet.
skeleton in (one's) closet
A source of shame or disgrace, as in a family, that is kept secret.
Fibber McGee's closet
A mess. The Fibber McGee and Molly radio show chronicled the title characters' lives through the Depression and beyond (the show ran from 1935 to 1959). The gentle family-friendly humor came from Fibber McGee's hatching far-fetched get-rich schemes that never materialized, not to the surprise of his long-suffering but supportive wife Molly. The McGees's house was noted for its overstuffed closet. Audiences eagerly awaited someone, usually Fibber himself, to open its door, whereupon the sound of a landslide of glassware and other breakables filled the airwaves. The noise went on for what seemed an eternity, followed by a brief moment of silence, and then the sound of one final item (portrayed by one chime of a hand bell) and McGee's resolution to straighten the closet “one of these days.” “Fibber McGee's closet” entered the language as a metaphor for any example of domestic disarray, especially in a basement, attic, or—of course—a closet
skeleton in the closet
A hidden shame. As if hiding a murder victim or another object that would cause great distress to the hider if found, to have a skeleton in the closet is to have a secret of any sort that you don't want revealed.