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silent partner

Someone who is closely associated or involved with a business or corporation, typically through financial investment, so as to share in its risks and rewards without participating in its day-to-day operations and management. Primarily heard in US. Dave's father agreed to be a silent partner when we started our company, leaving us to run it once it was set up. In an attempt to crack down on corruption, federal investigators have begun looking into various silent partners that might be financing the drug trade throughout the country.
See also: partner, silent

partners in crime

1. Fig. persons who cooperate in committing a crime or a deception. (Usually an exaggeration.) The sales manager and the used-car salesmen are nothing but partners in crime.
2. persons who cooperate in some legal task. The legal department and payroll are partners in crime as far as the average worker is concerned.
See also: crime, partner

sleeping partner

  (British) also silent partner (American & Australian)
someone who is closely involved with a company, and often provides money for it, but is not a manager of it He was an extremely wealthy man, and she was hoping he might become a sleeping partner in their new vineyards.
See also: partner, sleep

partners in crime

if two people are partners in crime, they have done something bad together She'd kept watch and made sure no one saw us while I actually took the bike so we were partners in crime.
See also: crime, partner

sparring partner

An individual with whom one enjoys arguing, as in Jim's my best sparring partner. This expression alludes to boxing, where since about 1900 it has denoted the person one practices or trains with. [Mid-1900s] Also see spar with.
See also: partner, spar

partner up

1. To arrange some things or people in groups of two: The gym teacher partnered up the students and started a tennis tournament. The organizer partnered us up with some new volunteers.
2. To form pairs or a pair; become partners: The dance students partnered up and started to waltz.
See also: partner, up
References in classic literature ?
Poyser's observation: it would not do for him to dance with no one besides Hetty; and remembering that Jonathan Burge had some reason to feel hurt to-day, he resolved to ask Miss Mary to dance with him the first dance, if she had no other partner.
Poyser, you must let me take you to my aunt, for she claims you as her partner.
But I'm not going to be your wife, thank goodness--only your partner.
Let me be your partner, and you'll see me rattle the dry bones of the Solomons.
It's a load off my mind, Trotwood, to have such a partner.
Look here, sir," Francis said, "I notice that this concession of yours is granted to you and your partner jointly whilst alive and to the survivor, in case of the death of either of you.
If anything happens to your partner here or in Buckomari, you'll have me to reckon with.
But Harold's letter to his partner was crossed by a letter from his partner to Harold.
It will be a cheap lesson if it teaches you to take nothing upon trust in business, and to insist upon knowing exactly what your partner is doing, however senior he may be to you.
You'd better stick by the sled," his partner protested.
She made no attempt to set it right--she turned deadly pale and caught her partner by the arm.
And in the laying of bricks and stones is the just man a more useful or better partner than the builder?
But after making several reflections upon the circumstances of my life, and how little way this would go towards settling me in the world, I resolved to go to Lisbon, and see if I might not come at some information of the state of my plantation in the Brazils, and of what was become of my partner, who, I had reason to suppose, had some years past given me over for dead.
Man and brother, partner in feelings equally with undertakings and actions, I have found a cash-box.
Never ship came to this port that had less business than I had, and yet it was with great difficulty that we were admitted to hold the least correspondence on shore: not my partner himself, who was alive, and made a great figure among them, not my two merchant-trustees, not the fame of my wonderful preservation in the island, could obtain me that favour.
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