Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Acronyms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
A certain aspect, fact, location, or activity, usually touristic or commercial in nature, that is or purports to be not well known to the public but deserving of praise or attention. The newspaper called the restaurant the city's best-kept secret. While everyone wants to visit the Ring of Kerry, the Dingle Peninsula is really one of Ireland's best-kept secrets.
deep, dark secret
A piece of information that is extremely private and confidential, usually implied to be embarrassing, incriminating, or shameful. I've carried my fear of clowns as a deep, dark secret for many years now. Many saw her as a perfect candidate, but no one could have known she had a deep, dark secret from her past.
carry a secret to the graveand carry a secret to one's grave
Fig. to never reveal a secret, even to the day of one's death. John carried our secret to his grave. Trust me, I will carry your secret to the grave!
Could you keep a secret?and Can you keep a secret?
I am going to tell you something that I hope you will keep a secret. (Also used with can in place of could.) Tom: Could you keep a secret? Mary: Sure. Tom: Don't tell anybody, but I'm going to be a daddy. Sue: Can you keep a secret? Alice: Of course. Sue: We're moving to Atlanta.
secretly. They planned in secret to blow up the bridge. I will tell her in secret so no one else will hear.
keep a secret
to know a secret and not tell anyone. Please keep our little secret private. Do you know how to keep a secret?
make a secret of something
to act as if something were a secret. I'm not making a secret of it. lam quitting this job. Mary made a secret of her intentions.
something that is supposed to be known only by a few people but is known in fact to a great many people. Their engagement is an open secret. Only their friends are supposed to know, but in fact, the whole town knows. It's an open secret that Max is looking for a new job.
1. Lit. a secret way of making or selling a product; a business secret. The exact formula of the soft drink is a trade secret.
2. Fig. any secret method. (Jocular.) A: How do you manage to sell so many of these each month? B: It's a trade secret.
Your secret is safe with me.
I will not tell your secret to anyone. Don't worry. I won't tell. Your secret's safe with me. Your secret is safe with me. I will carry it to my grave.
Unknown to others, privately. For example, They met in secret, or, as Shakespeare put it in Love's Labour's Lost (5:2): "One word in secret." [Second half of 1400s]
Something that is supposedly clandestine but is in fact widely known, as in It's an open secret that both their children are adopted. This expression originated as the title of a Spanish play by Calderón, El Secreto a Voces ("The Noisy Secret"), which was translated by Carlo Gozzi into Italian as Il pubblico secreto (1769). In English the term came into general use during the 1800s.
Without others knowing.