(one's) secret weapon(redirected from a secret weapons)
(one's) secret weapon
Some person, thing, or element at one's disposal that provides one with a distinct advantage, especially because it is not known or discussed widely (or at all). The new Flapple and Spikerosoft computers are largely equal in most areas hardware-wise, but the latter's incredibly intuitive operating system could end up being its secret weapon. Our support among younger voters is going to be our secret weapon this election. The team's incredible new quarterback is going to be their secret weapon going into this season.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
A clandestine item or mode of attack unknown to the enemy. The term came into wide use during World War II, when it was rumored that Hitler was going to launch a powerful secret weapon against Great Britain. Subsequently the term was applied to pilotless planes, robot bombs, rockets, and nuclear bombs. Thereafter it entered the civilian vocabulary, where it is used in sports (“Bill’s second serve, stronger than the first, is his secret weapon”) and numerous other activities. Edith Simon had it in The Past Masters (1953): “See the candid camera at work, that misnamed secret weapon.”
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer