in confidence

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in confidence

In private; with the understanding that the other person or people will not reveal what was said. (Sometimes used with the modifiers "strict" or "the strictest.") I can't believe you told your husband about my affair; I told that to you in confidence! Gentlemen, please be aware that this meeting is being held in the strictest confidence.
See also: confidence

in confidence

Also, in strict confidence. Privately, on condition that what is said will not be revealed. For example, The doctor told her in confidence that her mother was terminally ill, or He told us in strict confidence that Gail was pregnant. This idiom was first recorded in 1632. Also see take into one's confidence.
See also: confidence
References in classic literature ?
Losberne, in strict confidence afterwards, that he considers it an excellent performance, but deems it as well not to say so.
When Becky told her father, in strict confidence, how Tom had taken her whipping at school, the Judge was visibly moved; and when she pleaded grace for the mighty lie which Tom had told in order to shift that whipping from her shoulders to his own, the Judge said with a fine outburst that it was a noble, a generous, a mag- nanimous lie -- a lie that was worthy to hold up its head and march down through history breast to breast with George Washington's lauded Truth about the hatchet
And Rebecca told Miss Briggs, whose Christmas dividend upon the little sum lent by her Becky paid with an air of candid joy, and as if her exchequer was brimming over with gold--Rebecca, we say, told Miss Briggs, in strict confidence that she had conferred with Sir Pitt, who was famous as a financier, on Briggs's special behalf, as to the most profitable investment of Miss B.
I mention it as the friend of both parties, and in strict confidence.
And more than that; I promise to have no secrets from you, Pa, and you may make certain that, whatever mercenary things go on, I shall always tell you all about them in strict confidence.
Mine is a confidential trade like yours, and I will treat anything you write for me in strict confidence.